Felis silvestris catus
People come to the City to live the good life. They leave deer hunting behind. They leave many of the charms of the agrarian lifestyle behind.
The early settlers of the Woolen Mills village had the best of both worlds. They had the social support of a village while maintaining many of the folkways of the country. They had gardens, they had chickens, cows, hogs and horses.
When the Woolen Mills village was annexed in 1963 it came under the purview of Charlottesville City Code. But having a law is one thing, enforcing it is another. As late as 1985 there were cows grazing in the Woolen Mills neighborhood.
Sec. 4-7. Fowl at large.
It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons or other fowl belonging to him to go at large in the city; except, that homing pigeons may be released for return to their cote without violating this section.
(Code 1976, § 4-6)
Sec. 4-8. Keeping hogs, goats and sheep.
(a) No hogs or sheep shall be kept in the city except for immediate shipment or slaughter.
(b) No goats shall be kept within the city.
(Code 1976, § 4-7)
While the gardens remain, people no longer keep livestock or hunt within the Woolen Mills. Ah! But there is still a wildness. Grey fox, groundhogs, deer, raccoons, possums, rabbits, rats, hawks, geese, and herons populate this neighborhood on the periphery of Charlottesville's urban core.
Wild predatory species have been run out of town.
Alligators have a thing they do when potential biped or quadruped mammalian meals walk by. They size up the meat. It is a great sin to anthropomorphize, to put thoughts into the alligator's peanut sized brain, but the alligator evaluates, "can I fetch that prize?"
In the Woolen Mills, domestic cats share the top level of the predator pyramid with the automobile, no gators here.
Oh! Look at that cute kitty on the porch! What is he thinking?