Saturday, January 20, 2007

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?


Blogger emory said...

Apologies in advance to Buddy Beckerman

and all my pals at

I too love cats, I am just glad that most of them in the Woolen Mills weigh less than 20 pounds!

Blogger Doolittle said...

Would you look at the disdain on that kitty's face!

Is that a bona fide Woolen Mills feline? Must've thought you were one a them high-density developer types come to homogenize his neighborhood and turn it into Everywhereville.

Blogger emory said...

yes, a genuine Woolen Mills action cat. If we could put mouse ears on real estate developers the felis silvestris catus crew might preserve this neighborhood for another 200 years...

Blogger Doolittle said...

Trouble is, the developers wear so many disguises. Many wear the ears of a braying jackass. Others are meek and mild, like tiny mice, and use styling gel in their fur. Some even resemble a large and boastful stentorian cartoon chicken.

Mere men are often fooled by the costumes the actors wear. But, be they ass, mouse, or Leghorn, felis silvestrus catus sees all... and waits...

Blogger Lyle Solla-Yates said...

That cat terrifies me. Other people seem to find it cute.

Blogger Lightnin said...

They didn't tell me about these things when I got my real estate license.


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