Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Thirteen Thursday CEC Facts Every Kitty Should Know
So we are going up to our mountain house this weekend. Last time I was there, I heard the howls of CECs (cat-eating coyotes), and it scared me and I hid under the bed. But I've been practicing on my CEC attack technique, and reading up on my adversary. In some cultures, CECs are known as "The Trickster". They can trick us into thinking we are safe in our yards, and then ZAP, we are snapped up in a minute! So here are thirteen CEC facts every kitty should know.
1. CECs like to hunt between sunset and sunrise, which is the same time you outside kitties like to be out. But actually, CECs can be observed at all hours and will not pass up the opportunity for an easy meal. SO BE CAREFUL!! A woofie or kittie in a yard can be taken in minutes.
2. CECs are cousins to the domestic dog and the wolf, so they might just looks like a friendly woofie from across the street.
3. You outside kitties, if you see tracks, you can tell the paw prints from a dog because the rear paw tracks are smaller than the front, while woofies typically have symmetrical paw prints.
4. And just because you live in New York, it doesn't mean you are safe. In fact, Mom was running in Central Park last summer when on a business trip, and a CEC was seen there! They started in the Western plains and deserts, and have spread outward across the country until they are found in every state except Hawaii.
5. CECs vary in size from 25 pounds in Mexico to 75 pounds in the mountains and the northern reaches of their range, with those New York CECs ranging between 35 and 55 pounds (us kitties weigh between 5 and maybe a tubby 20 pounds, so CECs have the weight advantage).
6. Like dogs, CECs have four canine teeth, two upper and two lower, for grabbing and holding us poor little kitties.
7. CECs can breed with both domestic dogs and wolves. So make sure your woofie isn't eyeing the large good looking stranger down the street, it might be a CEC! But if woofie wants to make a "coydog", its gotta be in January, as CECs are sterile the rest of the year.
8. While CECs kill small dogs, big dogs can kill CECs (like, wolves can kill CECs, and CECs kill foxes.)
9. In areas where there are a few wolves, wolves and CECs may breed and produce fertile offspring! This is one of the reasons red wolves are endangered- their numbers were already low when CECs moved in and the two species bred the surviving red wolves out of existence!
10. A CEC litter is between 2 and 12 pups (6 pups being the average), with CECs producing one litter per year. Only 5-20% of CEC pups survive their first year (hah, wimps!).
11. Like kitties, CECs maintain their territory by marking it with urine (but I bet in a marking contest we have some friends how could beat them in a marking contest!)
12. CECs have a lifespan of about 15 years in the wild, about the same as us.
13. A CEC can run at almost 40 mph and can get over a 8' fence!
CECs are a formidable adversary. While I'm practicing on my stuffed coyote, I think avoidance is the best technique, as these guys sound MEAN!!