January 20, 2013

North Cairn: Fisher cat best viewed at distance

(Continued from page 1)

I only know I've heard that sound before a few times, so I go with "fox." Otherwise, my world is full of fisher cats, and they're following me from one dwelling to another around New England.

Fishers eat almost anything, it is reported, including, it turned out in one YouTube testimony, the big toe of a woman in Lincoln, R.I., who made the mistake of venturing, barefoot, into her back yard while a fisher cat was prowling. At the time of the interview, she was not sure she would ever walk again.

She did, as her doctor had predicted she would. But, by the way, she wanted people to know, the rabies shots were no fun.

Still, I find I continue to watch for the fisher, and it is probably out there, beyond the ring of my myopic sight. The field guides indicate that, depending on its sex, it is likely to circle back this way on a regular basis, between three days and a week apart. If it comes near, I feel sure I will not know, unless the dog runs afoul of it.

Nor do I expect the fisher to attack either my stout golden retriever or me. I can't help but believe that there will always be easier, though probably not slower, prey to pursue and take down.

My neighbor tells me this was a very lucky sighting, that he has seen a fisher only twice in all his years in Maine. He believes they are very shy and would avoid contact with humans at almost any cost. I am choosing to imagine them that way, too.

It's not that I'm afraid for myself. I wear UGGs or some even more protective footwear, so I have no worry over my toes. But the dog has only bulk to keep her out of cross-species quarrels. She prefers raw hide, or antlers, or Milk Bones. She's not looking for a fisher; she has no interest in a fight.

Hers is the instinct I admire.

North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:



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