Life on Anderson Pond – Thought I saw a fisher cat

I did. I did see a fisher cat!

The first time I saw a fisher cat was xcountry skiing at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.  A few of us were stopped to catch our breath on the steep climb to the warming cabin when we saw a small dark animal skirting across the snow.

Photography Prints

Unknowing, I thought it was a mink or a weasel but I was set right by another skier that it was a fisher cat. Judging by their ferocious reputation I assumed they were bigger but no they are about the size of a house cat.

Here on Anderson Pond we have large windows looking towards the pond and strip of vegetation barrier between the house and the pond. There is a public right of way hiking trail along the pond and wildlife tends to enjoy the cleared path as much as the local hikers.

Art Prints

That’s where I saw my second fisher cat. Alerted by my always on guard Westie dog, I looked up just in time to see what appeared to be a black house cat running down the trail with a large object in its mouth. Probably a squirrel or rabbit.

Art Prints

The next day I glanced out and saw the fisher cat on climbing a tree about 20 feet from the house until my dog spooked him. Beautiful dark fur, not purely black but deep dark brown at least as back lit from sun.

Fishers are not related to cats. Their cousins are weasels and pine martins. They have a well earned reputation as ferrous hunters as they are the only animal that can take down a porcupine. It was thought that they simply flip over porcupines and scoop out the contents like a cantaloupe but observed attacks are even more scary. The fishers attack the porcupines face repeatedly until they inflict so much damage that the porcupine sub-comes to the attack.

Don’t feel too bad for the porcupines, unchecked populations of porcupines can really decimate a forest as they chew up the trees relentlessly.