K seems to be healing. We had a surgeon's appointment today so that he could check her paw. He says that it looks good. Now, we just have to wait, rest K, and keep our spirits up.
The beauty of our nascent winter has helped distract me from worrying. The frost laden aspen twigs caught the sunrise light outside our bedroom window this morning, reminding me of the good in our world.
K now has a shaved belly from her abdominal ultrasound and a shaved forelimb. Since we're under winter's siege, we've dressed her in a fleece jacket both in the house and on walks.
On walks, her poor naked elbow is fully exposed to the 10°F air. It must be so cold.
Her spirits are good. She started our tiny walk this morning acting worried but gradually became more confident.
Behind K, you can see an aspen grove to the left. Each tree glittered with sun rays bouncing off the frost on their branches.
I saw and K sniffed small cat footprints carefully following my snow bike tire tracks directly into our clearing.
I believe that this cat is our resident adult bobcat. He left a scrape and scat in the middle of the trail, perhaps attempting to tell the kitten who has recently been hunting on our land that this is his territory. Bobcat territories tend to be held by a single cat, with little overlap so a confrontation between the kitten and grown-up may be inevitable.
I think that the bobcats heard that we needed their spirit infused into our life. I've never had so many bobcat photos in such a short period of time.
After K and I went for our little walk, I left her home to rest while R and I went for a snow bike ride. It was a glorious day, albeit a bit chilly. The temperature at the start of our ride was 15°F!
We almost immediately came upon a violent and confusing scene. I could see that R's body language shouted that something extraordinarily interesting was ahead of us on the trail. That usually means trouble so I called him and leashed him to investigate. Despite his excitement, he sprinted back to me.
The forest floor was churned in a 20X30 yard area, with dirt kicked up to cover the snow that fell last night.
Several pine saplings had lower branches broken off.
Then, I noticed the blood in the snow. There were areas with much thicker blood than this but I didn't want to upset anyone with the photos.
My next find was tufts of deer fur on the top of a fallen tree, as if a deer had been dragged across it. However, the drag marks ended just beyond the fallen tree.
Further investigation revealed nothing. R and I walked a big circle around the scene. The only tracks going in or out of the churned area were deer tracks. I expected to find mountain lion tracks and then a drag mark where the lion had pulled a deer carcass to a secluded spot. I found no such thing. R was fascinated with scents on the lower branches of several pine trees in the area.
Finally, after searching exhaustively, I cautiously let R off leash and continued the ride. He didn't show any sign that there was a carcass in the area. My best guess is that two male deer fought. It is mating season... so territorial spats can be expected. Does anyone have thoughts to share as to what might have happened at this scene?
I do know that a big buck passed near this area late yesterday afternoon... This is a very big buck for our heavily hunted population.
In any case, the forest spoke to me today and completely distracted me from my worries about K, albeit briefly. It's amazing how often nature serves a peaceful and calming role for me, even when I run across a violent scene like the one today. I know that territoriality and predation are part of the natural order so they don't disturb my emotional equilibrium.
Thanks to all of you for your well wishes. We're taking the best care possible of our precious K while we wait for news. I wish that the lightning blades of terror that keep shooting up my spine would disappear.
One last note - I'm sorry that I haven't visited many blogs in the past few days. I've been a little overwhelmed with everyday life.