The local wildlife has returned and is right outside my door.

I have turned into a slumlord. Not only did I evict a new mother and her baby last year, but I’m now in the process of trying to get a whole family of deadbeats off my property.

Yes, the coyotes are back.

After adding a gate to my backyard, putting chicken wire around the bottom of the deck and having outdoor lights installed, I thought they had gotten the hint that their freebie dwelling was kaput. Being a crafty lot they have now forged a cozy retreat behind the very tall redwood tree in the front yard.

A few nights after this discovery, the cat litter I ordered was dropped off on the front porch. For years, this delivery has been left just outside the front door making it easily accessible. But on this night for some reason — maybe the coyotes alerted Amazon — it was out of my reach. Knowing the squatters might be nearby, I was loathe to walk across the porch. So I did the next best thing.

I grabbed a yardstick that reads “Inch by inch life’s a cinch” that had been a wedding shower gift. Would the words stand the test of time?

I couldn’t leave the door open because I didn’t want the cat to go out or the coyotes to come in. So I closed it gently thinking if I needed to get inside quickly I could reinstate a backkick I learned in ballet class when I was younger, shorter and cute enough that people were forgiving if I fell on my face. I was also wearing ballet rather than bedroom slippers.

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By now Lark kitty was perched on the sill of a window that faces the porch. As I risked my life trying to reign in her litter, she was making sounds that closely resembled laughter.

Inch by inch I was able to nudge the heavy box over to the door and kick it into the house without the cat getting out or the coyote getting in. All this without without delivering an eviction notice. But don’t get too comfy guys.

Email patriciabunin@sbcglobal.net. Follow her on X @patriciabunin and patriciabunin.com.

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