You would think that after living in the Maine woods for a number of years, one would adapt to the sound of nature. You would think.

For many years, I heard what I thought were wives’ tales about the infamous fisher cat that lived in the Maine woods. I refused to believe that such an animal existed until one summer night recently.

In the middle of the night, my wife and I were awakened to blood-curdling sounds. Screaming voices, which sounded like a teenage girl was being dismembered, reminded me of a Stephen King novel. Yikes! They woke us from a dead sleep (no pun intended). We both looked at each other in horror.

At the same time, we both said, “Listen.” We lay frozen in hopes that it wouldn’t make another sound. There it was again. We finally accepted the fact that we indeed had a fisher cat in our woods eating a fresh kill. This now confirmed that the tales and stories were real and not just fantasy.

The following day I got up and walked through the woods, looking – to no avail – for signs of the animal murder that we had been auditory witnesses of the night before.

How could an animal that made such loud noises when dining possibly leave no signs behind after a big meal? Nature was interesting and engaging – just not in the middle of the night, when you are trying to sleep.

For the next few weeks, the animal became a topic at our dinner table. We queried the fisher cat online and pulled up photographs. They were scary.

We found out that it was nocturnal and vicious. It would make very loud noises when it killed its prey. These were not comforting thoughts.

We found out that it looked like a cross between a weasel and a bobcat. Not a pretty sight. We also found out that it slept during the day, was afraid of people and was the only known predator to the porcupine. It would circle a porcupine, flip it over and strike it in the belly.

This vivid discussion gave us more ugliness to envision as we thought about our precious woods.

Several more weeks passed, and our dinner conversation changed to more pleasant topics. Then one Saturday morning, my son started yelling from the family room.

I ran down to our family room, which faces to the north into the woods. There, I found my son with his face glued to the sliding door to our deck. He said, “Dad, look at that!”

About 50 yards from our door was an animal that appeared to be about 40 pounds. It looked like a bobcat with a fierce-looking face and a long pointed nose and tail. It looked ferocious. Finally, we had witnessed the animal firsthand.

When you live in the Maine woods, you eventually accept the cycle of nature.