Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dances With Coyotes

A few weeks back, my husband and I were having a conversation about the cats. Because we know how to keep a marriage alive. The night before, the cats had been doing some wicked howling at the windows, and it was evident that they'd seen some sort of animal on the porch or in the front yard.

Me: [Donning Sherlock Holmes attire] What do you think it was?

Him: [Not at all interested] I don't know.

Me: I mean, I've never heard them like that before...

Him: Nope.

Me: I'd bet it was a bobcat or something.

Him: [Rolls eyes.]

Me: No, I'm not like freaking out or anything, I'm just saying...I bet that's what it was.

Him: It was more likely a coyote.

Me: Coyotes? IN TEXAS? Texas doesn't have coyotes!

Him: [Record screech.] Are you serious?

Me: There are coyotes in Texas?!

Him: [Blank stare.]

It's not like I'm terrified of coyotes or anything. In fact, I've spent several of my college nights camping in the Adirondack wilderness, falling asleep to the yips and barks of coyotes in the distance. I just thought they were a northern creature. (Cuz of the fur? I don't know. I swear I went to college. Twice, even.) Plus, they're woodland animals! I live in the city of Fort Worth! Why on EARTH would I be worried about a coyote eating me and my family alive?

Well, you see...

Upon realizing that coyotes do, in fact, exist in Texas, I was reminded of a morning that I was playing outside with the kids. It was early summer and my husband was still in New York finishing work. The kids were sketching sidewalk chalk masterpieces and I was trying to pretend that it wasn't 95 degrees at 9:00 in the morning. Now, our house is in a cul-de-sac, which is separated from a nearby road by a thin line of trees. When I looked up toward the treeline to make my routine sweep for bobcats and/or tarantulas and/or alligators and/or snakes, I noticed two dogs running along that road. They appeared to be huskies, and I wasn't immediately alarmed. Until I noticed HOW they were running. They were, like, trotting almost. Running with a purpose, if you will. Naturally, it made me nervous and I simply assumed they were strays, and probably rabid and/or infected with a mutant strain of the flu that was about the wipe out civilization as we knew it.

I scooted the boys inside accompanied with reassuring words like HURRY UP GET INSIDE OMG WE'RE GONNA DIE. I peeked out from our living room and saw them enter the cul-de-sac and then head back behind the neighbor's house. And that was it.

Cut back to modern day and I'm reminded of when the very funny woman, and fellow DFW resident, Noa Gavin, once told me that "Texas actively tries to kill you."

Mathematically speaking? I think I've proven her premise to be true. If you add this run-in with a pack of coyotes (practically), multiply that by the aggressive bees that hunted me at the Fort Worth Zoo, divide that by the fact that mere DAYS later, I was sitting at my kitchen table AND A BEE WAS CRAWLING ON MY NECK, and raise it all to the OMFG I JUST KILLED A SPIDER CRAWLING ON MY HUSBAND'S HEAD power?

That all equals a lot of fucking Xanax. Texas, man.