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Travels With Charlie
December 1, 2007 9:13 AM   Subscribe

The Daily Coyote: "Charlie came into my life when he was just ten days old, orphaned after both his parents were killed. He lives with me and a tomcat in a one-room log cabin in Wyoming."
posted by fandango_matt (54 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Love the photos of Charlie with the cat!
posted by ericb at 9:21 AM on December 1, 2007


That was retarded.. ly cute.
posted by phaedon at 9:22 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Holy smokes, I cannot believe how cute Charlie looks as a youngster. Also rather amazing to see him with Eli, the tomcat.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:25 AM on December 1, 2007


A cayote as a pet? That's just awesome.
posted by Autarky at 9:34 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hope he doesn't eat that cat once he gets older. Lovely pics.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:34 AM on December 1, 2007


Neat
posted by adamvasco at 9:36 AM on December 1, 2007


I recall reading an article in Smithsonian magazine, back in the nineties, about what a bad idea it is to raise a coyote as a pet.

The article described an owner who had injured his foot, and when he walked into the home with a limp, the coyote apparently saw it as an opportunity to become an alpha dog, and attacked the owner.
posted by jayder at 9:38 AM on December 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Beautiful pics. Those ears! Those eyes!
posted by amyms at 9:41 AM on December 1, 2007


"At the time I write this, Charlie is nearly six months old. I don't think of him as "my pet," even though he sleeps curled against me every night (every night except the nights around a full moon), and happily rides in my truck, and adores my cat. I don't wish to own him, just to live together in harmony. And that we do."

Clarification about the "pet" status from the author, found in the ABOUT US section.
posted by LiveLurker at 9:47 AM on December 1, 2007


This will wildanimal.
posted by interrobang at 10:01 AM on December 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


The article described an owner who had injured his foot, and when he walked into the home with a limp, the coyote apparently saw it as an opportunity to become an alpha dog, and attacked the owner.

Coyotes are very small, even full grown, and have weak jaws compared to dogs so I doubt this somehow.
posted by fshgrl at 10:26 AM on December 1, 2007


I thought I'd opened up CuteOverload for a moment. There are some great photos in there, and Charlie is gorgeous and adorable as a pup--even now his expressions convey such joy.
posted by tula at 10:31 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, it may have tried to savage its owner, but it would have been a rather pathetic effort, wouldn't it?

That said, this was incredibly cute. I read the blog from top down, in reverse chronological order, and initially assumed the writer was male, but figured out she was a woman before her first picture showed up. Maybe it was the unrestrained emotionalism about the utter adorableness of the wee beast that tipped me off.

(Firefox doesn't flag "adorableness" as a misspelling? Whoa.)
posted by maudlin at 10:34 AM on December 1, 2007


I want one! I want one!

Screw that, I want a stadium full of them, just to roll around in!
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:39 AM on December 1, 2007 [4 favorites]


puppy-kay-yi-yote, git along, li'l MeFites.
posted by not_on_display at 10:57 AM on December 1, 2007


Today, the annual coyote-killing contest is taking place and Charlie and I are in hiding. 126 people have entered this contest, and whoever kills the most coyotes in one day (today) wins nearly $1800. Not willing to risk Charlie being spotted. Photos will resume tomorrow.

I understand culling, but a contest? I hope somehow in spite of his proximity to humans Charlie manges to lead a long and happy life.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:00 AM on December 1, 2007



I understand culling, but a contest?


I imagine that $1800 is a significantly smaller sum than would be required by whomever would have to do the work otherwise.

It does rather pee on the chips of natural balance, however. I bet lots of moolah that the reason there is 'too many' coyotes is because they attack livestock more than anything else. Further examples of Man thinking the world is solely for his use, and nature is an inconvenience.
posted by Brockles at 11:02 AM on December 1, 2007


Yeah, Brockles, I was just thinking that the cost of the feds sending out rangers (or whoever it is they send) would probably be more. coyotes are one of the few, if not the only North American predators to actually have increased in number with the arrival of humans. Partly because we decimated the number of wolves, and partly because we create all kinds of food for them, from garbage to domesticated animals.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:12 AM on December 1, 2007


The author really is in love. Golly. You don't get to choose it, it chooses you.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:23 AM on December 1, 2007


Yeah, my cat would leave. But I'm still thinking about it.
posted by imperium at 11:32 AM on December 1, 2007


wow, fandango_matt...great find. thank you SO much for sharing.

yeah yeah yeah, yadda yadda wild animal shouldn't be a pet wah wah wah how cruel yah yah yah it'll eat her when it's older....

personally, i think this is beautiful. she says she shares a driveway with a coyote expert employed by the federal government, so she's got good resources. she's not doing it out of a desire to break charlie's spirit, or any other negative impulse.

this blog reminds me of two things: two-socks from "dances with wolves" and the coyote yip song at the end of "grizzly man."

i wish them both the very best.

...and i wonder, how *does* she get internet connectivity in a one-room cabin in wyoming?!?!?! :)
posted by CitizenD at 11:47 AM on December 1, 2007


Okay, this? should be illegal on total cuteness grounds alone. It's amazing how close dogs and coyotes are - that picture reminded me so much of my old cat and one of my dogs as a puppy. Great find!
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:56 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just started reading Konrad Lorenz's great book Man Meets Dog(amazon link) last night, so this is a pretty awesome find. thanks matt.
posted by PugAchev at 11:56 AM on December 1, 2007


Coyotes are very small, even full grown, and have weak jaws compared to dogs so I doubt this somehow.
posted by fshgrl at 10:26 AM on December 1


Now that you mention it, the article was about wolves, I am sure. I'm an idiot.
posted by jayder at 12:21 PM on December 1, 2007


I'm concerned that the cat might come to a bad end with another coyote due to some trust generalising from Charlie to all coyotes. Does that happen, or am I anthropomorphizing kitties?
posted by subbes at 12:35 PM on December 1, 2007


subbes: my cat doesn't generalize trust from me to other people, but other cats do. Depends on how trusting of an animal it is I guess.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:54 PM on December 1, 2007


I would imagine that Charlie has a scent that is just his - especially since he lives with a human and a cat - that the cat would know to be "ok, that's my friend" as opposed to the smell of a wild coyote.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:56 PM on December 1, 2007


the cat would know to be "ok, that's my friend"

Wolf and cat.

Monkey and cat.

Koko and kitty.

Dog and kitty.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is an amazing find - thank you for posting it.
posted by Ostara at 1:45 PM on December 1, 2007


Good thing she doesn't keep any chickens, is all I'm saying. But the cuteness does overload my brain.

I see she's using him as calendar fodder too for extra cash. Smart. Plenty of doggie and kitty calendars, not so many coyotes.

/semi-related
My husband's uncle and wife once invited us to their home with my 3 month old son, not revealing that they kept a full-blooded motherfucking wolf as a pet. It greeted me at the door, big enough to reach up and swallow my son in one gulp. "Oh he's a big pussy cat!" joked the uncle. I made him put the damn thing outside, in case that day was when the big pussycat decided to snap. Some things just aren't meant to be pets, people. Jesus.
posted by emjaybee at 1:50 PM on December 1, 2007


^ ^ ^

[ericb, case in point...i feel a little better about this world whenever i see ample evidence of interspecies snorgling, especially when it's not just on cute overload. you da man.]
posted by CitizenD at 1:50 PM on December 1, 2007


Terrific photos! I especially love the ones with Charlie and Eli.
posted by hojoki at 2:07 PM on December 1, 2007


Great post. Anyone looking for more coyote cuteness can take a look at this Boston College study of coyotes raised in captivity. Part of what the researcher did to acclimate the pups to his presence was howl with them. It makes for some really cute pictures.
posted by MrVisible at 2:31 PM on December 1, 2007


This is awesome, great link.

Although if I were that owner, I'd be sure the animal doesn't go nosing around any industrial, military surplus or home appliance catalogs. For coyotes, those things produce nothing but trouble.
posted by JHarris at 3:57 PM on December 1, 2007 [9 favorites]


Cute sounds too I would imagine, MrVisible. Not sure if you noticed, but somewhere on this site, Shreve comments that she gives Charlie wider berth on full moon nights. After I stopped laughing, I decided I liked this guy even more. Shortly thereafter, having read and scrolled a bit more, I saw this woman! Well, was my face red! So much for stereotypes.
posted by LiveLurker at 4:34 PM on December 1, 2007


Yeah, she'd better start watching out for anything billed to 'Acme Corporation' on her credit card statements.
posted by Flashman at 5:06 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Something tells me that Shreve doesn't chalk up much in the way of credit card debt. Hell the nearest outpost is thirty some miles down that long and VERY dusty road. By the time she spits out the dirt and buys more elk fat, I bet it is all she can do to find her way home.
posted by LiveLurker at 5:15 PM on December 1, 2007


Great link. Thanks!
posted by homunculus at 5:27 PM on December 1, 2007


This site begs night pics of Charlie on a butte howling at the full moon. Perhaps to be sold at velvet prints.

Definitely more buttes.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:38 PM on December 1, 2007


The photos are gorgeous and so is Charlie. Nice find!
posted by LeeJay at 6:05 PM on December 1, 2007


Neat, thanks. Over Thanksgiving, I met a dog that was half Malamute, half coyote, and it was an incredibly smart, neat dog.
posted by salvia at 6:43 PM on December 1, 2007


Definitely more buttes.

Yeah, the only good image of his butte that I could find is this one.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:28 PM on December 1, 2007


wrong butte.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:41 PM on December 1, 2007


Very sweet, and clearly she is a skilled photographer as well.

Seeing this reminds me of a dream I have always had; I want to own a fox.

I actually looked into it, and if you get a furrier license (or something like that) you can legally own them. There is a lot of good reason for the appeal of one as a pet, as well. Needless to say, they are adorable. And for being so dog-like, they have a lot of characteristics similar to a cat: slitted eyes, retractable claws, and their hunting style which includes a very catlike vertical hop onto their prey.

Unfortunately, all the things that make them neat like their inquisitiveness and their cleverness are exactly the things that would probably make them a really, really bad pet.

I envision coming home, and finding my fox on top of the fridge surveying it's complete destruction of the kitchen in a search for snacks. I go into the living room to find that the cats have taken up a defensive position by having retreated into the bowels of the sofa, a path made possible by the holes chewed into it earlier by, you guessed it, the fox.

And that really is the thing that keeps me from getting one, at the end of the day, they are still wild animals. The author is lucky, she lives in an area where she can let her friend stay outside if it wants to. For me, a pet like that would be a disaster of epic proportions. Hell, my two 'domestic' dogs are bad enough. Include the ability to jump like a cat? It would be the stuff of nightmares.

Though I keep hearing about these domesticated foxes...
posted by quin at 8:13 PM on December 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


wrong butte.

Then why does it feel so right?
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:23 PM on December 1, 2007


Freddy the Fox
posted by homunculus at 9:08 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Couch holes are for fox food, not cats.
(I hear foxes like to bury their food.)
posted by ryanrs at 4:52 AM on December 2, 2007


Several years ago, I had a roommate whose dog was half-coyote. 99% of the time, that dog was one of the sweetest and most loving animals you'd ever meet. Well-behaved, smart, didn't defecate where he shouldn't. Every once in a while, though, he would just go fucking nuts. He wouldn't go after people or anything, but if you decided to interact with him, you could expect to be bitten. There was nothing to do for it but to give him his space for about ten minutes until he'd calm back down. I've often wondered if this was the result of his coyote heritage, or if it had something to do with being a mixed breed.

My other coyote story involves a field that I used to cut through when walking home from work. It would cut about twenty minutes off my walk every night, until one night I turned around and noticed a coyote behind me. Remembering that coyotes are more afraid of man than vice-versa, I made myself as big and loud as he could and scared him off. I turned around and continued walking, and when I heard a noise behind me and turned around I discovered that he'd come back with about six of his buddies (prior to this, everything that I'd heard suggested that coyotes were solitary animals). The group chased me out of the field. I'm sure that they weren't trying to hurt me (because there's no way that I could have outrun them if they'd wanted to catch me), but they made it quite clear that I was trespassing and should leave.

Fucking coyotes, man.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Those are some great photos.

As for domesticated foxes, see here.
posted by parudox at 12:07 PM on December 2, 2007


Now that you mention it, the article was about wolves, I am sure. I'm an idiot.

Yeah wolves are pretty big.

quin, I know a guy who has raised orphan red fox cubs on two separate occasions. They were really cute and went everywhere with him, even out fishing on his boat, but they both left home once they matured at around 2 years old. One came back occasionally for a few years but the other one didn't.
posted by fshgrl at 12:10 PM on December 2, 2007


I wet to grad school down the road from the National Wildlife Research Center's coyote depredation unit in northern Utah. They let volunteers come in and bottle-feed the coyote pups, which they raise to study how to keep coyotes from killing livestock.

They sure are puppy-cute as babies, but the researchers would tell you how at a certain age the coyote genes "kick in" and these little bastard go vicious more or less overnight.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:37 PM on December 2, 2007


(Of course, I prefer coyotes to livestock any day.)
posted by gottabefunky at 4:25 PM on December 2, 2007


Isn't it illegal for her to keep a coyote? This was all I could dig up.

Wyoming – It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, maintain or have in his possession or under his control within the city any of the following animals: all poisonous animals (including snakes), baboons, chimpanzees, bears, constrictor snakes, coyotes, deer, elephants, gamecocks, hyenas, leopards, lions, monkeys, ostriches, tigers, wolves, etc.

I don't know about the "in the city" part. I'm having trouble finding rules for the state.

If it is illegal, I'm not sure why one would want to brag about it on the internet. Also, it's idiotic to keep a coyote, which many other people have stated.
posted by agregoli at 8:17 AM on December 3, 2007


she says she shares a driveway with a coyote expert employed by the federal government, so she's got good resources.

I guess that points to it not being illegal. Missed that one first read. Still strange to me.
posted by agregoli at 8:19 AM on December 3, 2007


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