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Franny Syufy

Loss of a Special Cat: Pitypat

By February 16, 2013

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I received an email last week from Shirley Jedele, the human mom of Pitypat who had rescued her from the woods near her home several years ago. Pitypat was our Cat Picture of the Week in October, 2009, and I remembered her wellk, not only because of her beauty, but because of her rescue story.

Photo of black cat PitypatThe reason for Shirley's email was to let me know that Pitypat had died - the victim of a coyote from the forest she had been rescued from. Unfortunately, Pitypat had never accepted the use of a litter box, and had been allowed outside briefly morning and evening to take care of her needs. She had always stayed close to the house and returned inside within 10 minutes, but that fateful evening she didn't return, although Shirley went out looking for her. The next morning Shirley found evidence of what had taken place, including pawprints of a coyote.
Image © Shirley Jedele

Shirley wrote because she wanted me to warn other readers about the dangers of coyotes to our cats. She wrote, "I live on busy Main St. in a town in Florida. Certainly not a wooded area." However, a neighbor had mentioned a few months ago seeing a coyote in the area, and some of the ferals Shirley had been feeding had disappeared. I've emailed Shirley that I had just recently written an article on 11 Wildlife Dangers to Cats, which included coyotes in the list. However, it should be emphasized that these animals can also be found close to more heavily populated areas, and are not confined to forested terrain. As we have built out more intrusively into their habitat, they must venture into our towns for food. Unfortunately, cats are among their prey.

Pitypat, may your story serve as a warning to save other cats. Rest in Peace, beautiful girl.


February 17, 2013 at 7:24 am
(1) Terry says:

I can certainly empathise with Shirley and her loss of Pitypat to a coyote.
I lost one of mu cats B’Bear…a beautiful ginger girl only two years old to a coyote as well. It was mid day when a coyote came out of some long grass (basically hay as we live in the country) and caught her by surprise. this was only about 50 feet from our home and REALLY surprised me!
We had put down our beautiful dog Megan..a Shepard/Collie mix about three or four months prior to losing B’Bear. Megan used to ensure that any and all coyotes stayed well clear of our property and guarded our cats faithfully.
B’Bear was part of a litter of five cats born to a lone little female we had.Unfortunately the Mama cat (Harley) passed when her litter was only two weeks old and we hand raised them all and of course couldn’t give ANY of them up. B’Bear was one of them and it was Especially hard to lose her after raising her ourselves from just two weeks of age.
We have since aquired a new dog..A Great Pyrenees …who is being raised with the remaining cats (4) and considers them her best friends and I know that she will defend them from any and ALL threats when they are outside.
I should note here as well that the cats are only permitted outside during full daylight hours and the dog(s) were/are ALWAYS out with them.Even so things can and do happen.
I know that the only way to keep our cats perfectly safe is to keep them indoors….but…I feel that they are free roaming creatures by design and I feel terrible keeping them confined.
My cats also stay very close to home and come almost immediately when called and if I have even a hint of trouble may be afoot outside I do keep them in.
R.I.P Pitypat…I know you and Mom will be re-united one day at the Rainbow Bridge!

February 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm
(2) britt brady says:

hey waddup i love cats like fuh real yeah yeah yeah! kats r kewl, that is what I like. yupppp hump yuppppp cats!

February 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm
(3) cat says:

I live in rural New Mexico. We currently have packs of up to 8 coyotes roaming the area. Coyotes hunt day and night. They stalk residential areas for pets being let out to do their business. They are quick, can grab an animal and be over a fence in minutes. I have electric fencing and often see evidence of them being on the property. My cats aren’t allowed out.

Sadly, last year – during a stormy period of weather, our electric fence was down. We had high winds, the front door blew open and my beloved Bamboo got out. The neighbors Rottweiller and Jack Russell terrier got under the fence and grabbed her. I was home and took her to the hospital where she died of shock. She had only been out a handful of times and lived with 2 friendly large dogs. She didn’t know what hit her. I think unmonitored neighborhood dogs are a bigger threat to cats than coyotes.

I now lock the doors, at all times. And check the electric fence often. You have to be hyper-vigilant with all pets.

February 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm
(4) Chelsea Schneiter says:

I am so very, very sorry. Oh how horrible! My heart breaks for you and your Kittie.

AND thanks for sharing about the coyote. I live in Florida and didn’t know what you shared about coyotes.

May you be blessed at this time of loss.

((( Hugs )))) Chelsea

February 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm
(5) victoria says:

I am so sorry that happened to her cat..it opened old wounds for me too…I had just gotten remarried and moved about 45-55 minutes away to my hsb’s home with my two cats…we live near and lake and have a huge irrigation ditch on the hill behind our fence…we also have a park that goes to the lake. I let my sweet Girl, Gabby, sit out back and she wasn’t 5 ft of the porch, it was getting to be dusk but I the sun was slowing going down..I turned my back for about 1 min, not more, and she was gone…we looked and screamed for her..our neighbors found what was left…the coyotes not only come thru the park everynight they sit on the hill by our house in packs…I try and put posters up on the community mail boxes…for everyone to see…they learn the hard way like me…NOW now of our cats go out ever, and if we get a dog we will be with it at all times, or it will have a nice run to play in but will be a indoor dog..I am so sad for that lady….blessings, v

February 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm
(6) victoria says:

I am so sorry about your Kitty….mine was killed that way to…I live in Colorado and they are not afraid of humans anymore..they stay in packs just above the hill on our house, and my hsb has walked out he front door and found 5 under our aspen tree’s and that was 3 ft away…he got back in pretty fast to say the least..last summer in one of the towns here they about 2 got a 2yr old playing in the street with all the kids, and they started pulling her away…they didn’t get her, but she was scared and i think the coyotes were shot…they are mean and tricky…we used to own horses and they will lure your big dogs in different directions so they can get a new born colts or calfs..I have no respect for them although I am a animal advocate..it is a very sad world when we can’t co exist…

February 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm
(7) Tanya says:

I’m so sorry for your loss. I recently lost my kitty. 2 months and 3 days. I miss her so much and can understand how you feel. My little baby was sick, so I knew the end was soon near. My heart goes out to you because I’m sure it was a terrible shock. There is nothing that can prepare us for it, but remember you love her and she is still in your heart. <3

February 22, 2013 at 2:13 am
(8) Prashant says:

I am very sad to read about Pitypat and the other stories that followed.I hope that all the ondes who passed away had a quick painless end.

I live in India and am a single parent to George,an indoor outdoor cat.I live in an urban setting in India with no danger of wild animals and yet fret whenever he is outside due to dogs;other cats and vehicles.

February 22, 2013 at 8:48 am
(9) kherm says:

How sad. I am so sorry. I too lost a cat, probably to a coyote, four years ago. I had hand-reared an abandoned kitten of a feral mom, and although he was very bonded with us, he was always part wild and never adjusted to the life of an inside cat. He was neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and on heartworm preventative, but because of his nature. he was still a semi feral and one night disappeared. I know with certainty that if he could have made it home he would have, so I am guessing he fell victim to the coyotes who inhabit this area. We still miss him. Our other cats are never allowed outside, but have a “catio” they can enjoy the sunshine in.

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