This Takes the Cake

Monday, our Neighborhood Watch coordinator forwarded an e-mail from a resident on a nearby street.   She had noticed paw prints the size of her husband’s palm in their yard. . . ” a VERY large animal in our backyard.  It is definitely some kind of cat, like a bobcat, or possibly bigger.” She was sending it as a warning to people with pets and small children.

She took photographs of the prints and sent them to the County Animal Control.  That’s all we know at this point.

After I forwarded the e-mail to the neighbors on my list, I received responses from several, saying that they’d heard of sightings of a coyote or possibly a wolf.  Someone else wanted to know if it was a bear.

Another suggested it was a cougar.  As an afterthought, she wondered if it could have been an old codger, explaining that the neighborhood is full of them.

I have no clue.  The e-mail gave me pause though.  When I’d gone outside to get the paper that morning,  I’d noticed some unusually large paw prints in the snow around our front steps.  I couldn’t figure it out because that was the only place I saw them.  The rest of the yard was pristinely white;  no prints coming into or leaving the yard.

Dearly Beloved pooh-poohed me until he saw them, too.  He was curious enough to ask our next-door neighbor if her large dog had been out in the front that morning.  It hadn’t. We forgot about it until the e-mail that afternoon.

The mystery remains unsolved.  Someone asked if I checked the roof for prints.  Gulp. . . no, I didn’t.   A bird wearing paw-print boots?

Another neighbor brought us half a coffeecake last night, still in the metal pan in which it was baked and covered in aluminum foil.  DB set it on the counter so that we could have it this morning.

But it wasn’t there this morning.   No sign of it–not the foil, the pan,  or even a crumb.  The mystery of where the crime occurred was solved when DB went down to the basement playroom for something and found the foil and the empty pan on the floor.

Since the doors and windows were closed and locked last night,  I’m thinking it was an inside job.  I have a suspect.

Bigfoot or Big Thief?

Granddog Ivy had to have performed a real athletic feat to get to it.  That pan hadn’t been sitting on the front of the counter.  I can’t help but wonder if Ivy shared with Miss Piggy, who has been stealing Ivy’s rawhide bones all these weeks.  Somehow, I think not.

What is the proper etiquette here?  Do I tell the neighbor that the cake was so tasty it didn’t even last the night?   Confess that the dog ate her coffeecake?   Not exactly a compliment coming from an animal that also enjoys eating dog poop.

A friend with a visiting granddog at her house e-mailed that she’d like to bring her granddog over today for a playtime, to get rid of some of that energy.  That means I need to get out with the shovel.

I don’t want to serve snacks.

Besides, the Cougarcoyotewolfbear may have a taste for coffeecake-flavored dog poop, too.

I think we’re okay on the codgers.


15 thoughts on “This Takes the Cake

  1. Is it possible that DB is setting Ivy up? A pan and foil wrap in the basement is not absolute evidence that Ivy ate the coffee cake and where were you and Miss Piggy when the Coffee Cake went missing? Rascal, would be happy to take Ivy’s case. She works for bacon.
    Just tell your neighbor ” Great coffee cake, we ALL enjoyed it.’ Is it a Southern thing to bring over only 1/2 a coffee cake? I know there are only 2 of you but still….. Tip: The only safe spot for a coffee cake with a doodle in the home is a Microwave or over.
    As for the paw prints…I think the squirrels are growing. )

    1. Oooh. . . that would have been a clever title!

      Katybeth-Setting Ivy up is something I would do. What I really want to know is how the guy who claims my page turning wakes him up didn’t hear a dog rattling around in the kitchen in the middle of the night. I like Rascal’s currency.

      Oh… the half coffee cake thing. The baker is single, so she figured she would apply half to her thighs and the other half to mine.

  2. I can’t imagine what animal shares those large paw prints-Hmm. You don’t think the squirrels are trying to freak you out (laugh)? I think they have a plan.

    As for the coffee cake? I would tell your neighbor that it was delicious!

    Stay warm.

  3. Did you smell his breath for cinnamon? Actually, considering how he has been starved out by Miss Piggy, you can’t blame the fellow for stealing some calories.
    As for the prints on the front steps, could it have been Ivy who felt the snow, decided to hold it, and came back in? Love a good mystery.

    1. Velva, if there is such a thing as mutant giant squirrels, we KNOW they’re at my house, don’t we?! Something emptied our thistle feeder on the ground. Didn’t eat the seeds, but they’re all over the sidewalk. I’m thinking “tree rat.”

      Patti–I am definitely not smelling her breath. Remember, she eats dog poop, too. We don’t trust Ivy in the front yard, since she’s just visiting. She might decide to take the midnight train to Georgia.

  4. Huh. I left a comment earlier today–but it’s missing.
    Oh well.
    I mentioned friends of ours with their dog (the late great Tuck–a yellow lab) from whom NO food was safe–on the counter, or anywhere within paw reach.
    Also–can you provide photographic evidence of the large paw prints, complete with ruler to gage size?

    1. Donna, I looked under my computer and don’t see your earlier comment anywhere.

      The snow took the paw print evidence with it. I didn’t think to take a photo. I don’t do my best thinking at dawn.

  5. I’m sitting here trying to think of how a dog can pull a metal cake pan to the floor in the middle of the night and neither of you heard anything. Or were both of you pretending to sleep, hoping the other would go out to confront the intruder?

    I love the fact that “play dates” are arranged for the visiting Ivy. She’s going to need a social secretary before long. Well…perhaps not. It would be pretty hard to find one that will also shovel the ice.

    Lucky for you that Ivy seems to have a good digestive system. Many dogs would have diarrhea for days after a feast like that. And with all that ice around. Not to mention the possibility of confronting Bigfoot when you’re out.

  6. NCM, I wouldn’t have heard anything if she had torn down a kitchen wall to get to it, but Dearly Beloved, who claims to wake up when I turn a page, says he surely would have heard something if the pan had hit the floor. He thinks she carefully carried it down the stairs in her mouth.

    She came in tonight carrying a saucer-sized piece of ice in her mouth. The dog has talent. I think you’re right about the digestive system–the cake had coconut and pecans in it.

  7. I love a good Missing Coffee Cake story, especially when it involves a dog. I’d confess everything to the neighbor, she’ll love the way you tell a tale.

    I wanted to thank you for the info on Ashleigh, I ‘ve dropped in to check on her a couple of times and it looks like her recovery is going well. Such a tragedy.

  8. Where’s Sherlock Holmes when you need him? Never mind, with your luck you’d probably get Inspector Clouseau! lol Hmmmm, are you positive it wasn’t your DB who ate it all then felt guilty so placed the evidence downstairs with the dogs so that he could blame them?????? A-HA! Another suspect for you to think of!! hehe

    Hopefully whatever left those big prints is long gone but if it hasn’t…just hope no one meets it face to face! EEK!

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