mostly me, by penelope

Barking Up The Wrong Street


What’s up with that dog anyway?…


Thursday afternoon.

Cynthia is engrossed in reading all the neighborhood gossip/news/disputes on her NextDoor app. 

Penelope Kitten is rummaging around the house.

Cynthia (absent-mindedly):  What are you looking for, P?

penelope kitten (squeaking) my pogo stick.

Cynthia:  It’s in the hall closet.

penelope kitten:  thank u.

Penelope Kitten continues to rummage around. Lots of crashes and bangs.

Cynthia:  Now what do you need, P?

penelope kitten:  chalk for hopscotch.


penelope kitten:  never mind. found it.

She loads up her little red wagon with the pogo stick, chalk, a jump rope, and wiffle ball and bat.

penelope kitten:  ok. bye. going out to play.

Cynthia:  Who are you playing with today?

penelope kitten:  my new friend, willy.

Marcy:  Not another one of those neighborhood dogs again?

penelope kitten:  willy is not a dog. and even if he was i’d still play with him. he’s nice.

Marcy:  I’d never play with a dog. Yuck.

penelope kitten:  he’s not a dog. he just looks like one.

Marcy:  Whatever. Dogs are gross.

penelope kitten:  you’re catist.

Cynthia:  Okay well, come back inside before twilight. Apparently there have been coyote sightings on our street.

penelope kitten:  k. bye.

Penelope Kitten exits, dragging her little red wagon full of toys.

Cynthia (scoffing):  I don’t really believe it though. I think urban coyotes are a myth. Plus, this NextDoor app breeds neighborhood hysteria. I mean really, everyone posts incessantly about hoodlums casing homes, strangers ringing doorbells and frantically detailed coyote sightings.

Marcy (looking out the window)Hmpf. Willy looks like a dog to me.

Cynthia:  In fact, here’s another one.

“Just now. Coyote spotted at 800 block of Main Street with a pudgy black cat and a small red wagon.” 

Marcy:  Don’t we live at 810 Main Street?

Cynthia’s blood freezes as she panics.

Cue slow – motion effect (agonizingly slow, slow motion) – 

Cynthia, yelling “nooooo” – races outside whilst trying not to faint. She stumbles and falls down the stairs. She tries to get up but the hem of her pant is caught on a sprinkler spigot. She waves her arms and tugs at her leg but it won’t budge.

Camera shift to Penelope Kitten and Willy high-fiving.

Cynthia finally breaks free and steps into the middle of the street and into the center of a wiffle ball game. She looks dramatically to Penelope Kitten – 

penelope kitten (squeaking in slow-mo):  hi hi. wanna plaaaaay?

-and then looks opposite at Willy – the neighborhood Coyote.


Urban Coyote, photo by Connar L’Ecuyer for National Park Services


Close-up as Cynthia and Willy lock eyes.

End slow – motion effect.

Screen goes to black.

To be continued…


*While it is not true that I let Penelope Kitten outside, it is true that our very urban neighborhood has become a home for coyotes. We have one living on our street!

So please, keep your kitties inside, don’t leave out food, and be sure your garbage is contained in closed bins.

Above all, don’t panic. Looks like the coyotes are here to stay in our urban landscape. Animal control will not relocate them or kill them. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone!

Btw, it has not been confirmed if asking them to play wiffle ball is a good idea. Stay tuned!

And in the meantime, check out these two videos on the urban coyotes in Los Angeles!

This one is fun and interesting.

And this one is downright beautiful and mesmerizing.


Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Big Momma November 16, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    The Silver Lake pack looks like a fun-loving bunch and the one strolling down the street is just cute.
    Our Texas coyotes are way more sinister. They stand back and stare in silence, drooling over your Cocker Spaniel and wondering if he’s ever off leash.
    Bright Eyes is adorable!

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch November 16, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Creepy! The coyote on our street looks like a friendly dog. Which, is quite scary if you think about it! Maybe the Los Angeles coyotes took a bunch of acting classes!

  • Reply Patty November 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    We have coyotes here too! Urban wildlife. And apparently owls might grab a kitty as well. The domesticated animals need to be careful. Maybe P-Kitty will join their pack! Can’t wait for part two!

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch November 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Yikes! I never knew that about owls. I wonder if we have big ones out here?

  • Reply caren gittleman November 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    OMG that guy is scary! We have them here in Michigan too but thankfully I have never seen one in person

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch November 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      The funny thing is – the one living on our street looks pretty cute! Kind of like a gangly loopy dog. I am scared of it though! I need to get a picture of him.

  • Reply Vik November 18, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Love your clever PSAs! A very good reminder. Early evening just last week one of my friends heard all hell break loose in her fenced in back yard. When she opened the sliding patio door, one of the her small dogs came screaming into the house and the other was having hysterics at the fence line, barking at the coyote who had just jumped back over the fence, and its cronies were carrying on, too. The dog who had run inside, had puncture wounds and lacerations and they spent several hours and several hundred dollars at the Animal ER and thankfully he will be ok. AND those dogs will never again be outside in the yard alone after dark. We have coyotes in our area and I love to hear their wild barking, and sometimes see one. And totally agree…we share the area with the wild ones, and need to do our part by keeping our pets safe. Good to hear that PK is openminded about her circle of friends, though. How did she feel about being described as pudgy on NextDoor???

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch November 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Oh wow – what a story! I’m so glad the dog is okay! Ah… poor coyotes are hungry. The one in our neighborhood has not gone after the two feral cats that live outside -across the street. They are the two last remaining of a colony I TNR’d 9 years ago. It’s not an option for them to live inside and I was worried about them but now I figure – the coyote is hungry. If he gets one or both it will be devastating but… the coyote is hungry. The good news is that he must be getting enough food around here not to have to hunt cats for it. It’s been about three months that he’s been living on our street.
      Penelope is very proud of her pudge and doesn’t understand why on earth we worry about it. You know, Penelope, she calls it like it is and doesn’t fuss about stuff. If she had her way she’d be even pudgier! 🙂

  • Reply Liz December 7, 2017 at 9:33 am

    It’s been wild reading about urban coyotes these past few years. Growing up in the country in Michigan, they’ve always been part of life. But it’s so hard to imagine them walking the city streets and neighborhoods.

    We had an eerie experience with coyotes when we first moved into a wooded cottage after getting married. One night I swore I heard a baby crying on our porch. I was horrified that someone had left an infant in a basket on our doorstep, but I peered outside and couldn’t see anything. But then the coyotes all around in the woods started talking to each other, and it was such an eerie sound. It only happened that once, but I still get chills when I think about it!


    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch December 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      Oh wow – that is so creepy! Sounds like an old English fairy tale. I remember when I coyotes where howling all night when I was in rural Texas. It sounded like what you would imagine hell would sound like. (Shudders)

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.