The soim had become increasingly “friendly” over the last few weeks, not something I always appreciated, especially as they can give a nasty bite. Our neighbours were saying how much it liked me, I think it saw me as a walking food parlour but it would follow me along the fences as I took the dogs for a walk, sitting on the last post calling and calling as we went off over the dunes. The woman who “owned” the soim (meaning the woman who brought it back from the forest) said it had stopped sleeping at her house, she thought it must have decided to live here; I think maybe it had and that was its downfall.
I felt it was wrong to have brought it out of the forest, I know the woman thought she was saving it, but a semi wild soim in a domestic setting can be an absolute monster. It would get in all the cups and bowls looking for food, knocking things all over the place and shitting everywhere. It left a trail of broken crockery and meant we had to store things like bananas and other fruit in the fridge, it’s almost impossible to put things “out of the way” of the soim, nothing is out of the way to something that can climb everywhere. I leapt on my shoulder the other day because it fancied my apple, I hadn’t known it was in the room and almost had a heart attack as it landed on me and it chased our son from room to room because it was after his toast. It got in the room where Neu does his dialysis which meant we had to do a major clean, not that there is much in there to clean but we had to be very thorough as soims carry many diseases. In the garden the dogs were trashing my plants while trying to catch it, as the soim bounced about just out of reach and it ate every bit of fruit that grew.
We had tried to train the dogs not to attack it, but then I worried that if our dogs were friendly to it, then it would think all dogs were friendly and approach another dog and end up as dinner. Our cat who “loves” our dogs and often sleeps with them was, while maybe not quite so keen on the soim, tolerant of it, which again I thought perhaps not such a good idea.
Neu I had decided to try and catch it in a box baited with food, to take it back to the forest and release it, sadly we didn’t do it soon enough.
The dogs were making a tremendous fuss in the garden the other night, I went out in the dark with my torch and the dogs were looking up a tree. Eventually I spotted our neighbours cat (an accomplished bird killer) high up in the tree but it was so high and the tree so full of leaves, I couldn’t see if there was another cat or something else there. I thought it was odd because the dogs don’t normally bother with cats, unless it’s two cats fighting which will send them mental.
The next morning, when the soim didn’t appear we all guessed what had happened to it and later that day my son found it dead in the garden. We suspect the cat had caught it, perhaps it was that commotion that set our dogs off. Life can be red in tooth and claw.