Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Lynx and the Lasagna


BY K.S. ABBOTT

After an arduous cross-country winter trek from Ohio, we arrived at our new home in rural northeastern Nevada on Christmas Eve. My husband and son began unpacking the car while our Labrador happily bounced around their feet.

As we approached the house, we discovered that the kitchen door had blown open during a snowstorm. There was a snowdrift across the kitchen floor, with paw prints in it. The prints were smaller than a bear’s, so I wasn't too worried. We shoveled out the snow and proceeded to unpack.

Our furniture had arrived earlier, and the Christmas tree was in a stand, ready for us to decorate. So, I decided the next order of business was a hot meal.

I was in the kitchen preparing lasagna for dinner when there was a commotion in the living room. The Christmas tree had tipped over, crashing against the wall, and the dog was trying to hide under the couch. Then it occurred to me that the paw prints led into the house but not OUT again. A lynx had been hiding behind the Christmas tree! She climbed up the tree and leaped up onto the crossbeam of the vaulted ceiling. She tried climbing higher toward the ceiling, then changed her mind (much to my relief because the top beam leads to the loft bedroom!). She dropped back down to the crossbeam and sat there, looking at me standing in the kitchen with my casserole dish. I was pretty sure she was eyeing the lasagna.

I was torn between admiring her beauty, as I had never seen a lynx up close, and wondering how to get her out! Here was a wild CAT that could eat my DOG. That would be a twist!

The solution was simple. I opened the kitchen door. She leaped down, ran past me and out the door (which I closed quickly). Apparently, lynx don’t like lasagna.

Welcome to the Wild West, right? But that wasn't the end of the story. Later, I noticed a musky odor under our son’s bed. I knelt down and saw what I thought was a large amount of fur, as though the big cat had laid down and shed some of her fur. I asked my husband to move the bed so I could sweep it up. It wasn't fur. It was the remains of a large bird. So, our houseguest had already enjoyed a Christmas dinner.

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