The Fisher Cat is a somewhat ferocious looking member of the mustelid family, AKA the Weasel family. Another member of this family is the Wolverine. This photo was taken in my backyard a few weeks ago. I happened to be home sick one day, and let my dogs out around 1pm. Poncho, the more fierce and smallest of my two Schnauzers went tearing into the yard, much like he does when he spies a squirrel or other rodent. Only this time something much bigger was back there, and climbed up the fence and into the tree.
I stood there, staring at it trying to puzzle through what this could be. Not a raccoon, not a bear, not a fox. It turned and looked at me, with a face that looked like this . And that is when some voice inside my head said “Fiiiiiiisheeeeer Caaaaaaat” in this spooky whisper.
I had never seen one before, but a friend of mine had said she knew some were living in the conservation land behind her house, so somewhere in the dark dusty corners of my memory this information was locked away.
Big teeth. Large claws. Likes to eat rodents. Kind of FEROCIOUS. And it is in my tree. Excellent.
I called the dogs in, and after looking at me like “MOM. Are you INSANE? Do you see what I TREED? How cool is THAT? Check out its teeth. I can totally take him” Poncho finally came in. Then I went to consult my friend google, and sure enough, there was a fisher cat in my tree. I called my neighbor to make sure he knew. He has dogs and small kids. I didn’t need them going into the backyard full tilt boogy and come face to face with this guy. Or gal. Truly, I didn’t ask.
I called animal control. Apparently we don’t have an animal control officer right now. But the nice officer who answered the phone said things like “It will probably leave on its own. It doesn’t want to be there. Your dogs just caught it on its way home. Call us if it begins acting strangely.” To which I answered “Because I am so familiar with NORMAL fisher cat behavior I will know when it is behaving strangely. Got it.”
It did leave on its own after about an hour. I watched it wander its way through our neighbor’s backyards, toward the college that borders our little neighborhood. I created an FB page for our neighborhood a year or so ago, so I posted something about it. Then a week later someone else spotted it, eating a squirrel under a truck. So we posted that too. Then I suggested we should adopt it as our neighborhood mascot, because any animal that keeps the squirrel population in check is OK by me. That was when a high school aged neighbor posted that her rabbit had been killed in its hutch by the fisher cat. That weasel. Now no one wants to have it as a mascot. I had picked out t-shirts and hats too.