We let the lawn get long this spring. We’re not really grass people and with the amount of rain and being out of town, things just got a bit out of control. The cats have been keeping the rodents somewhat under control, but we’ve had quite a number of visitors come through as a result. Most of the little critters are shrews and meadow voles, but when I saw the cat chasing something leaping 3 feet at a time, I knew we’d attracted something new. Turns out it was a Pacific Jumping Mouse (not a kangaroo mouse sadly). They’re native to the area and look very much like mice you’d buy as a pet with the white underbelly and brown/black shaded back. Very cute little guys with their tufted tails but they really don’t need to come so close to the house. The crawlspace is not for rodents. The variegated deer has also come back by to visit over the weekend. At least now I know it’s a he, and he’s growing out his antlers already. Hopefully we’ll get to see him once they’re in and see how many points he has. The most interesting visit by far was last Friday when two elk cows surprised us on the way up the driveway and we accidentally chased them off. Later that evening we went into the basement and the cats went crazy. Lulu was up in the window acting like she needed to get out so bad that being inside was sheer torture. We tried to calm her down but just couldn’t get her to pay any attention at all. My husband went over to the window to try to physically stop her because she was just so focused on pawing that she wouldn’t stop when he figured out what she was hunting. There was a very tiny baby elk sleeping right next to the house. We had accidentally scared the momma away from her tiny little one while it was passed out in the tall grass. It wasn’t even the spots that gave it away, it was the crushed grass bed that we could see from very close up. The cows did finally come back for it, but our 9 pound cat still thinks that she should have been able to hunt it. Crossposted from Journey to the Center, comment here or there with OpenID.