Turns out the reason the squirrel population isn't so much in this neighborhood is the feral cats. They're gorgeous, all of them, but still wild. I think one we saw prowling through our back (fenced-in) and tiny yard before we made the move was feral.
Seems like there wouldn't be as many birds, but guess they're more observant than the squirrels. I was following my guy out of the neighborhood yesterday morning, he off to his art class and me off to hit yard sales. He braked in front of me and waited. I thought he'd forgotten to tell me something and would get out, but no. He kept sitting there in his car. Then I saw a sleek black cat crouched just to the side as if stalking something. In a moment the cat darted across the street and my guy went on.
I started to go, too, but noticed the cat slinking behind a tree, still stalking. Just as I rounded the tree - one of the huge water oaks we have here - the cat pounced on a squirrel who'd been sitting on the ground. The squirrel tried desperately to get away, leaping in the air and thrashing around, but the cat clung to him determinedly. I was in shock, the car advancing automatically so I never saw what happened. But I'm pretty sure the squirrel got gone.
Awful to witness a murder first thing in the morning. And yes, I know the cat was hungry and this is nature and all that. But still...Right before my eyes?