First, I'm not really on a farm - definitely in town with quarter acre lots. But I had a really, um, interesting morning. Got up around 6 and let my two Cavaliers out into the yard. It is fenced with stockade fencing. They seemed very excited over something near the back fence. Now I had found a hole under the side fence the week before. I blockaded that and noted that it seemed to have been dug from outside in and thought that another woodchuck was trying to move in. So when the dogs were busy at the back fence I threw on some sandals and tromped out in my bathrobe to check it out. They were digging near the fence and as I shooed them away they went to sniff at something. Again I shooed them and looked down to see half a cat
It was a grey cat. Or at least the front half of one. There were no visible wounds, but the back half from the end of the ribcage was missing. No bones, no hair scattered around, just a half cat It was not fresh, but not decomposed either. The ground around was mostly undisturbed. What was dug up may have been from the dogs - or not. I walked around to the back of the fence which backs up to a small vacant lot. Could have been places for a critter to live, but no definite evidence of something and not other evidence of the cat's remains. Opening under the fence was quite small.
So now I am wondering if this was an animal or humans. Kids have congregated in that lot and some know that I am a teacher (and not always beloved) so it is possible that the cat was tossed into my yard (Could have been found as roadkill...or not) Otherwise I cannot imagine a scenario in which an animal killed the cat and squeezed under the fence to deposit half in my yard. Unless I am missing something?
Two thoughts- Bird of prey- and- could something have chased the cat- who ran under the fence and got stuck at the hips- and the predator chomped off the back half- and the remaining half of the cat made it a little further into your yard. RIP kitty.
Whatever happened, sounds like it was really quick since it's such a clean cut so that's a good thing. You'll never know for sure, but if kids are congregating in the lot next door I would keep an eye out. Maybe you could even tell them what you found and warn them to be careful with their own pets as you don't know what got it. Their reaction would be interesting.
Some interesting ideas. I dont think coyote is likely since there is no space my Cavaliers could fit through, so a coyote couldnt - and the fence is six feet tall.
Cant see something grabbing the back half from the other side of the fence. Position wasnt right and if the cat was dead, the predator would likely have dragged it back before breaking clean through the backbone. Also there was absolutely no hair, bones or even disturbed area on the other side of the fence.
So so far a raccoon would likely be the best candidate. However there are still the issues of no evidence of a kill and the entire front half being left undisturbed.
Wish I were undisturbed...
For your safety's sake, I think I would contact the police just so they have a record of it. Strange things happen. If it were animals who did it, it would not concern me as much as if it were humans! You can never be too safe!
Actually I did. Felt a little like a paranoid old lady, but I had the same thoughts about there being other issues in the future. So it is on record. Kind of strange explaining to a police officer on the phone first thing in the morning that I wished to report a half-cat.
I have a question for the OP. Are there large trees over head where you found the half cat? I had a weird experience many years ago at a neighbors house. She called me one morning and asked me to come help her with a dead cat, or rather most of a dead cat. I stopped on my way to work to move the dead cat and lo and behold it was a cat's head (wearing a collar) and its spine and associated ligaments. Neighbor wouldn't get close enough to read the tag on the collar, but she thought I would. No phone number...just the name 'Muffin" or some cutsie pet cat name. We both felt terrible for the cat for a few minutes then I put it in a bag for her husband to bury later and left for work. Two days later I get another call about another cat (head only this time) and no collar this time. Neighbor tells me that the night before they found the culprit high in the tree above us. A great horned owl's nest and two fluffy owlets were looking over the edge. Seems that mom was snatching the local cats to feed her babies. Over the next few weeks there were several more cats and several skunks too... always the head and not much else. It appears that they ate what they wanted and threw the rest over the edge. I researched this on the web and found several places that said great horned owls preyed on skunks and cats quite often. My cat is now safely inside every night since then and has made it to old age, not dinner.
Interesting! There are trees around tho not directly overhead. Just starting to leaf out now and I havent seen evidence of an owl, but it doesnt mean there couldnt be one. That would be one strong, big owl to carry a full sized cat! (Not sure the idea is so reassuring) Only difference is there was more edible parts left - poor cat remnants included whole front half up to about the last rib. Only big bird I have seen is my recently returned Osprey who perches on a tall branch to enjoy his fish meals - dont think he would slice a cat like that tho.
MsM- Never feel bad about telling the police something like this! Years ago, as a young adult I lived in town the small town where I grew up. I had never lived in town before, but had a cute little condo across from one of the larger churches on a main street. The neighbors started seeing and hearing strange, random things. They reported them to the police who kept track and eventually two teenage boys were arrested for digging up the grave of a friend. Turns out they were into satanic rituals and were going to attempt raising the friend from the dead after they stole the body. I made us all very jumpy for a while, but knowing that police were watching out made us feel a little more secure!
I find quite a few dead mice and baby bunnies that are the same way, missing the back half only. I don't know what likes to eat just the back half of them but it probably isn't a coyote unless they come inside the barn to do it (for the mice). I assume that they would have come back for the rest but were interrupted, so maybe an owl, weasel, or something like that?