Sam was working at the firehouse last night so, of course, I get to deal with the things that happen...
When Sam works a 24 hour shift, I tend to stay up later than normal, reading a book, or completing a sewing project. I have found that if I wait to go to bed when I am really tired, I sleep more soundly and don't wake at every creak or groan of the house. Last night I turned off the lights around 10:15PM, only to be out of bed again at 10:30 because the dogs were barking so ferociously, I knew something was amiss.
I went to the back door, turned on the back lights, and tried to figure out what was going on. Turk (large white livestock guard dog) was literally throwing himself against the fence, barking and growling, more fiercely than I have ever seen him. I couldn't really see anything out there, so I closed the door and started looking for a flashlight (which are never where they are supposed to be when you need them!).
While looking for the flashlight, I am yelling for Abigail to get up and get the gun. She, unlike me has no problems sleeping very soundly, and it took at least five shouts to rouse her from her bed. I finally found a small flashlight and she and I both went out to confront whatever it was. By this time Turk had settled down and our quick perusal revealed nothing, but we locked the goats in the barn just to be safe.
So, I spent the next hour or so lying in bed, listening for the dogs, and waiting for my heart to stop pounding. 6AM came way too early this morning! Before chores, I sent the girls out on an expedition to see what they could find. Just over the wall from our pens they found parts to one of our chickens, a trail of feathers and blood, and some animal footprints that indicate a large cat. Great. I'm kind of glad Abby and I didn't see it last night, in the dark. I might never have gotten back to sleep!