Sad, Horrible People

Our home is like a virtual animal sanctuary. It is hard to imagine that simply by looking at the front of our house. If you go around back it becomes clear that we have a habitat suitable for most wildlife centers. It’s great at times, and noisy at times. During the day it is your average backyard filled with trees, but a night it takes on a new life.
We’ve had a raccoon bigger than our cat on the sun porch, squirrels that bring about much havoc, even a deer that scared me senseless. However, our favorites are all of the birds we get to see. The tot has even learned to identify birds that I do not even know. She has her own set of binoculars – real binoculars!

During this time of year we always have an owl or two. If you know anything about these creatures you understand they are not quiet. To make matters worse, there seems to be a lot of “owl lovin” going on at times. Their night filled with some serious mating makes our night of sleep virtually non-existent. We are used to the average Barred Owl, but the past week we have experienced the mother of all owls – the Barn Owl. It lets out one, ear-piercing “HOO.” After a few nights you almost get used to it.
Last night I was hoping to hear our new friend. I am sad to say I did not. You see, we have a street that dead ends toward the back of our lot. We do not see any houses, or any comings and goings. I’ve driven back there mainly looking for Lucy, the cat. I know there are some people back there who have way too much time on their hands. Six weeks ago we found Lucy – broken pelvis from being beaten, and a bullet in her shoulder area. (She’s doing well now, but will probably be a little gimpy the rest of her life). I heard some commotion in the back field that separates our yard with the street. Our friend the Barn Owl was really making his presence known. The next thing I hear – BANG, BANG! I sat straight up in my bed horrified. They were shooting at the owl!!! I heard them mocking the owl – I imagine in a effort to see if they would hear anything. Nothing.
Last night I settled in hoping to hear that ear-piercing “HOO.” I heard nothing but crickets. My fear is that these thugs got the owl! Number one…it is illegal to shoot a bird of prey (of course, how would they know that). Number two…who would do something like that? Wait – maybe the same people that beat and shot my cat!?

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