To everyone who has replied, thank you! I appreciate your time and interest, regardless of your opinion.
It is possible that it could be a feral housecat, but if so then it most likely isn't what's taking my chickens, as one of them was my large dominant
rooster who had spurs and regularly chased the cat that lives here.
Also, if it's a feral cat it's uncannily shy. There have been a couple of feral cats around. One is extremely shy although I've seen it many times
(the fluffy gray and white one); the other wasn't shy enough and is now deceased.
I want to say that I don't think there could be another domestic cat around that I haven't seen, even if it is feral. I have seen almost everything
else that is around, including a couple of bobcats and many deer. I have inside and outside dogs, and large front windows. If anything is within
sight, smell, or dog hearing of the house, some canine is going to notice it and alert me - this is how I have seen the other feral cats and even the
That is another point: the cat in the game cam picture is not afraid of barking dogs, as its location puts it in visibility range of both the inside
and outside dogs.
It is also possible that the sunlight angle has washed out the picture and it's just "my" cat, but we tried as best we could to go outside and measure
from where the front feet to the hind feet were, and it seems to be at least 9 or 10 inches longer than my cat (minus tail).
We will set the cam back up and hope for more pictures tomorrow while both of us are at work and hopefully one will either be clearer or enable us to
better estimate the animal's size.
Yes, we have heard howling at night but that is a whole different story. My husband has several times heard strange calls at night from inside the
house that put the hairs up on the back of his neck. A few days ago I played a compendium of "bigfoot" calls for him and he swears that one of the
sets of calls matches exactly what he heard. Yes, I know that's not a bigfoot in the picture, and also we both know what tomcats sound like and
haven't heard any of that. I can't imagine that there are bigfoot around here, there are too many houses ... but hubby has lived in the country before
and knows what wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and many other animals sound like, and he says this was something quite different.
Thanks again for all the replies.
edit on 17-5-2011 by hhott because: To add something I forgot.