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October 23, 2014

A Different Kind of Cat Behavior Consultation

Often during, before and after doing cat behavior consultations, I have unexpected encounters with animals of other species. Last year I had a number of awe-inspiring experiences with Bobcats, Asian Leopard Cats, African Servals, Coyotes one Mountain Lion, chickens and a number of reptiles. I can now add Turkey to the list. This experience—maybe not so awe-inspiring.

Saturday I was scheduled to do an on-site cat behavior consultation that revolved around a couple of cats who had severe litter box issues. I was early for the consultation. I am always early… Anyway, since I had time to kill, I checked out the neighborhood. I enjoy checking out neighborhoods—looking at houses & gardens. I am partial to really old homes and contemporary houses. As I was slowly driving up a hill, admiring the homes, a wild turkey sauntered off of the sidewalk and positioned himself in front of my car. Please keep in mind… I’m a suburbanite girl and I was in a suburban neighborhood. It’s not every day I see a wild turkey.

Also, keep in mind that I am not versed in Turkey Speak.

A turkey standing in front of my car or any car is not a good thing. I stopped my car and got out, with the intention of herding the turkey out of the street to a safer area. He didn’t want any part of it. He was making all sorts of cute little trills and chirps… very endearing and sweet. I chortled back at him… maybe this wasn’t the best idea… he answered me back and I think I became his person.

I couldn’t herd him out of the street—he stood his ground and approached me. I turned back towards my car—he followed me and attempted to hop in—kind of like a dog. Neighbors came out to watch the spectacle… one person told me he is a wild turkey, not domesticated. I carefully got out of my car again and started walking away. He rushed towards me … so I retreated, up on the sidewalk. I called my client and told her that I was going to be delayed since a turkey was resource guarding my car. Great entertainment for the neighbors… lots of giggling. One of the neighbors suggested I give him the keys to my car and maybe my phone number…

Finally someone took pity on me and ran interference so that I could return to my car and make my escape.

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Comments

  1. When I read your post, it brought to mind the days when we lived on acreage and had chickens, ducks and peacocks. Being of petite stature, it seemed that if there was a “nutty” bird in the flock, it took a shine to me.

    One incident that comes to mind is a rooster, Chester.

    For some reason, he like to stalk me. Whenever I would walk to the hen house, I could count on hearing a “thump, thump, thump” behind me. I would stop, turn around and Chester would screech to a halt, then begin pecking the ground. This would usually occur two or three times before I would get that creepy feeling up the back of my neck and turn to see he was just about on my heels!

    I finally figured out that if I turned and ran towards him, arms out to look big plus saying “shoo, shoo”…Chester would turn and tuck tail!

    It’s crazy…but I can honestly say that as much as I love God’s creatures…chickens, roosters, peacocks…and now wild turkeys, can really get my goat!

    Thank goodness you had neighbors to help you!

    Until next time…Annie

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