I took the above picture a few days ago, at the home of my brother Bob and his wife, Nancy, in Parry Sound, Ontario. It shows the simplest of grave-markers. It is also the very spot where one of their pet cats was recently killed by a fisher. The fisher is a 10-to-20-pound predator that is easily capable of killing a cat of the same size. It seems in the Parry Sound area, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment determined that re-locating fishers here was a natural way to control a porcupine population that was wildly out of control. The fisher is one of the few predators that can successfully hunt porcupines. The word in and around Parry Sound is that having reduced the porcupine population to a level that could not sustain its own voracious appetite, the very large weasel is now rapidly reducing the populations of several other wild creatures. Whereas it was once thought that fishers rarely preyed on cats, locals in the Parry Sound area are reporting many slaughters of their cats. This is the second cat that Bob and Nancy have lost in this way. My use of the word slaughter is deliberate, as the fisher is a remarkably efficient and masterful killer, violently tearing its victims from limb to limb and scattering the shreds around and about. The unfolding of nature can be gruesome, as well as pretty. I am usually uneasy, sometimes queasy, when humans presume to re-balance nature. Invariably, we over-react, over-correct, fail to make the world a better place, and misspend a pile of money. Then there's the collateral damage, even if it's just another dear pet. Lord, save us from our own accomplishments.