This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is ‘Animal Noises’ and the first noise that springs to mind is the sound of seagulls. Not the odd one or two squawking occasionally, but living on the coast here in Inverness we have soaring and swooping seagulls all around us, all day, every day, and I just love it – I even wrote a poem about it 🙂
And the soft, deep, hollowed-out coo of puffed-up Wood Pigeons has followed me up and down the country wherever I’ve lived for as long as I can remember. There’s one that must like to sit right on top of our chimney pot because when it coos contendedly it echoes loudly straight down the hollow chimney space, which gave me quite a start when we first moved in but I’ve grown used to it now.
And what about the noises I don’t hear any more, and definitely don’t miss?
Dogs barking dementedly in houses whenever people walked past outside, or dogs straining on leads growling and snarling aggressively at other dogs while passing on the pavement, was a thoroughly common sound in London. Lots of dogs are walked around here too, but are perhaps less terratorial with more space at home to make their own? Or maybe people own dogs for different reasons up here, purely for companionship rather than as a status symbol, encouraging friendliness rather than fighting? Who knows… but the dogs are definitely quieter here.
And foxes… OMG we had loads of city foxes in London, skulking around as if they owned the place, unafraid of humans, scavenging in bins and rumaging about noisily in back gardens all night. A fox bark is such a creepy sound, rough and grating and eerily staccato in the urban darkness, the kind of sharp nocturnal cut-short screech you hear in horror movies, a scary scene-setting sound that sends shivers straight through you.
Cats too at night – not gentle purring, cute mewling kitten-cat noises, but the violent, visceral caterwauling of sexually active tomcats tomcatting around as they do, echoing across the gardens and through open windows. It never ceases to amaze me how cats can appear so docile and demure and delicately passive by day, and yet make such a bloody racket when actively mating! 🙂