Nature bats last. And pays attention if you ask right. I live about a mile from one the largest urban parks in the U.S., Griffith Park, with 4,310 acres of hills, dales, hiking trails, a merry-go-round, golf course, and an adjacent museum and zoo. Griffith Park is also home to C-2, a shy mountain lion who is very good at killing deer; plus rabbits, squirrels, and of course coyote.  Like most residents in Southern California near the hills, we see them frequently and understand that

Lost Cat!

means coyote food. One of my cats, an excellent hunter who brought me a dove on Valentine’s Day and a rat for Mother’s Day, just never came home. Live by the claw, die by the tooth. I understood the risks of letting him be indoor/outdoor and he lived  happily as an indoor/outdoor cat for five years. Mr. Bruce, our current cat, is completely indoors: An “exotic extreme” Himalayan, his face is concave, his ears barely visible under his fur, and he was raised until we got him as a rescue (stud farm reject!) to be an indoors/show cat.

Last year, I had an invasion of slugs in the yard. My garden is completely organic and I knew leaving out beer would just result in drunk racoons, skunks, and possums. So one night I stood in the yard and politely asked Mother Nature to handle the problem. Two days later, the slugs were gone, but now I have a family of skunks that stroll through at night and dig up the lawn for grubs, occasionally leaving droppings.

The past week though, things in my urban oasis had an unwelcome visitor. A cat would come by and spray on my front door.  It didn’t smell badly to my nose because he was fixed, but it left a greasy residue and it was upsetting Bruce who would spend hours staring at the door. Yesterday I posted about Spray Cat on Facebook and got some very good suggestions for dealing with him.

This morning I discovered Nature had solved the problem for me. The evidence was lawn carnage: A few tufts of fur and part of an entrail. A muddy dog-like paw print and streaks of blood on the brick porch (there are photos on my Facebook page if you really want to cannot-unsee). And disgustingly, more pinkish entrails and something that looks vaguely like a liver or a pangolin which I didn’t photograph because they are truly yucky. I sprayed those with lemongrass bug repellent (flies are gross!) until I can figure out how to get them out from under the rose bush without barfing.

This has shown me how close we are to Nature on a number of levels. We have real life Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom happening daily in yards from the birds and bees to gory, bloody tooth and claw battles (though this coyote was VERY quick, I didn’t hear a sound and it happened  four feet from my window. My neighbors’ two very alert dogs didn’t make a sound either….

And thought this wasn’t the resolution I had in  mind–I was set to call the trap/neuter/release program on Monday and have them come out and relocate the sprayer cat–it show that Nature listens.

Mr Bruce is quite happy, too.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.