I live in a suburban neighborhood, a mix of older homes with newer developments squeezing in on previously vacant areas. But there is also a pretty big, wooded state park only a few blocks away, a county park a few blocks in a different direction, and some steep, unbuildable ravines. So it's understandable that we get the occasional wild animal passing through or poking around the back yard; usually possums or raccoons. A couple of weeks ago, Nikki and I surprised a raccoon snuffling around in some leaves and sent it up a tree. This morning, we were walking our usual route in the pre-dawn, slightly foggy, when what appeared to be a large cat ran across the street in front of us. Nikki went into her alert stance, and then started barking as it ran across some lawns and passed us. As it was going by, I thought, boy, that's a really big cat. When it was a couple of houses past us, it came back into the street and looked back at us. It looked then more like a medium sized dog than a cat. A man coming out for his paper called to me and asked, was that a coyote that just ran by? And I said, you know, I think it was.
I saw a pair of coyotes down in the park early one morning, but that was years ago. I didn't think they were still in the area, let alone right in the neighborhood.