Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dealing with the black bear threat

LT called the meeting to order and skipped the whole format of role call, approval of business, review of old business and whatever else and launched straight into the topic of the bear.  After doing some additional reading on bears, he and Rudy had decided that the bear was potentially dangerous to them and their humans and LT was worried.  The Daddy sometimes had to go out to work late at night, and that was when the bear sightings were most common. 

"The first order of business tonight is the bear sighting next door at Fuzzy's house."  No sooner had he said this when a panic broke out among the cats who hadn't already known about the bear.  Bunny screamed, Greymalkin cowered, Mr. Snuggles began bragging about how he'd taken down a black bear when he was but a wee kitten and Snoogums and Ladybug just sat there with a stunned look on their faces.  "Quiet, people, quiet," said LT in his most commanding voice.

"No need to insult us, old man," Snoogums replied.  "We're much more civilized than people."

"Well, then act like it,"  said LT.  "We need to decide on a course of action.  Rudy checked the news services, and there have been nine black bear sightings in Jackson in the past few weeks, and they're pretty sure it was more than one bear, so even if the one we saw was just passing through, it's quite likely we'll see more of them.  They're usually seen at night, and like to eat garbage.  Now, I'll open the floor to suggestions on how to protect ourselves and our humans."  LT sat down and prepared to listen to a lot of twaddle. 

"That's an easy one.  Avoid being outside at night and if you must, don't go outside by yourself if you can help it.  Keep an eye on the yard if your humans are outside and if you see the bear start meowing as loud as you can."  Greymalkin was a voice of reason, much to LT's surprise.  He'd expected most of the other cats to propose harebrained schemes. 

"Naah - we need to make a bear trap."  This was from Mr. Snuggles.  "Dig a pit, cover it with pine branches, put some rancid meat in the bottom.  Trap the bear.  Call 911 and have them come pick it up.  That's the ticket folks!  We can catch this bear." 

Ah, thought LT.  Harebrained schemes like that.  He shook his head kept listening. 

Bunny and Ladybug said that after they went home tonight, they wouldn't leave the house after dark without an escort of at least three strong male cats. 

Snoogums said, "I like Greymalkin's idea."  Peep and Rudy agreed with Greymalkin, and Fuzzy said that he'd sit out this discussion, as his family was of the opinion that the bear or bears had moved on. 

LT pointed out to Mr. Snuggles that 1) there was no way they could dig a hole large enough that a 7-foot bear could fit into and 2) the bear would just climb out again anyway.  Bears, he said, are very good at climbing.  He recommended that they follow Greymalkin's advice.  Everyone agreed, although Mr. Snuggles did so reluctantly. 

No one was comfortable with the idea of a long meeting, since it was starting to get dark, and LT adjourned the meeting quickly.  Arrangements were made for Fuzzy and LT to escort Greymalkin home, and Bunny and Ladybug were convinced that their two male companions would be sufficient escort, particularly since it was barely dark yet. 

As they all prepared to leave, Rudy jumped up, having had a good idea.  "If anyone sees the bear, please send me an email.  I'll check my account every morning, and forward any messages on to the rest of you.  That way we can track any sightings, and decide if it would be safer not to meet next week."

After LT returned from escorting Greymalkin home, Peep asked him, "LT - I thought the bear was kind of well, friendly.  Why are you so worried?"

LT's reply was, "Peep, this bear said he was just passing through, but there have been sightings day after day, and it really looks like there is more than one bear, anyway.  Just because that bear was friendly, it doesn't mean they all will be."  With that, LT resumed his lookout post, watching for the Daddy to come home.  He didn't want anything bad to happen to the Daddy. 

Image courtesy of Dan Dzurisin -

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