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A Visit with the Maine Theriault's:  Ever see a bobcat?

Al Theriault, delegate for the 'Docithe and Annie Theriault' Great-Branch from Maine, sent in some spectacular photos of life in the Maine northern woods with some rare views of the bobcat. 

Before I was able to post those for everyone's enjoyment, he sent a few more photos but this time accompanied by a story that was written by his wife, Gail, who writes from time to time for the Cold Stream Campowners Assocation. Here it is. (Click on photos to enlarge)

Near the middle of January, we noticed a fox coming in at night  foraging around the bird feeders where I threw bread for the birds. Noticing that he had a lame front foot, we decided to feed him. One Sunday night we threw out a chicken carcass for him, complete with stuffing. The next day it was still there. Much to our amazement and delight, we saw a small bobcat come in and sit there by the chicken. He ate some, then carried it under our deck. We soon discovered that he too was lame, he had a bad back leg. He would only put the tip of his toe down when he walked, and limped badly. For that first week, he stayed under our deck, and we fed him everything we could find. 

For the first few days he was so hungry, that while he was feeding, I could walk right out on the deck, and he wouldn't even look up. He was very weak. Al could walk down the driveway to the lake, and he would just lay there and watch him go. He would lay under a small part of the dock that had long legs that was pulled up on the shore, and watch the birds flock around the feeders, and cry. It was so pitiful.He was so lame he couldn't get up fast enough to catch a bird, and I don't think he could jump. I heard him hit his head under the deck one day when he tried to catch a dove. He was nothing but skin and bones, his hip bones stuck out, and his fur was matted and dull.

One day when Al was in the ice shack out front, the cat went out and put his front paws on the step and looked right at Al looking down at him through the window. He got a good look at the cat that day.

When we ran out of things to feed him, we bought him canned and dry fish flavored cat food, hoping that it had good nutrients in it for him. He loved it, as did the fox, who still came in occasionally.

He soon moved elsewhere to live, but came back every day to  eat. He would spend hours out here eating, and laying in the sun.

Some friends of ours donated part of a pork roast, and a pickerel she cought out here. Then one day she called and said her step dad had gotten a beaver carcass from a trapper, and they brought it down. It was a big one. We put it out for him, and he came every day and night and ate off it. The fox also liked it, when he got over his fear of it.  It took him a little longer to get near it.

That cat demolished that carcass, leaving nothing but the bones. He had taken up residence under the deck of the camp next door to us, so he could come as often as he liked. 

The last time we saw him was on the 8th of March. We had two wonderful months of being able to watch something so wild and beautiful right outside our windows. It was amazing.

We feel that hunger and desperation drove him here, and if we hadn't fed him, we think he may have starved to death. We feel pretty good about being a part of his recovery.

The pictures were taken by a neighbor, Julie Nadeau.

Thanks, Gail for that great story and thanks as well to Julie Nadeau for the spectacular photos! We're going to wrap-up with another photo that Al sent in some time ago, but I never got around to posting it. It's a great photo of Al and his son, Stan displaying a beautiful flag with the Theriault  'Leopard' crest. The flag was a father's day gift to Al last year from his son, his daughter-in-law Colleen and his wife, Gail. Lucky guy! If you want to talk with Al about this story, the photos or the Theriault flag, you may reach him at alandgail@midmaine.com.

Just as a note: The bobcat is distinguished by its  very short, stubby tail, by the ears which come to fine points, and I believe, by its usually aggressive behavior. Growing up in the northern woods of Maine, I never got close enough to one to see it very well. There were a few hunters that returned from their hunt with some hair-raising stories of running into a bobcat.

A Visit with the TSgt Jason Theriault Family... at an Air Force Base in Germany

Jason and I had tried to coordinate a 'rendez-vous' in Germany on some of my business trips but somehow, we were never able to carry it off until recently. Rosemary and I have always enjoyed how the Germans celebrate Christmas. So we planned a two-week holiday in the Cologne and Frankfurt areas which is not too far from Jason's base of assignment where he lives with his lovely wife, Tammy and their three boys: Tyler, Zachary and Ian.

It was total fun catching up with their news, talking genealogy and of course talking about Air Force life. It took Rosemary and I back to our early days in the Air Force... made us feel very young! Jason is Technical Sergeant and a fire fighter working on the flight line and other dangerous places. 

Standing (left to right): Jason, Tammy, Rosemary and Joe; sitting: Zachary, Ian and Tyler.

Here is Tyler, Zachary and Ian's 14 generation lineage in the Theriault family:  Jason, Robert, Joseph Elzéar (1909), Elzéar (1881), Joseph (1845), Jean (1815), Romain (1793), Pierre-Paul (1767), Pierre (1742), Paul (1716), Claude (1687), Germain (1662), Claude (1637), Jehan (1601).

(From back to front, left to right): Jason, Tammy, Zachary, Tyler and Ian. 

And a 'thumbs up' to you too, Zachary! We wonder whether Tyler ever found his missing homework... :) And we discovered in having lunch with Ian and his parents at a German restaurant close-by that they have chicken nuggets even in Germany.

Tammy operates a day-care in their home and some day hopes to become a teacher. We were able to watch her first-hand with some of the children as they came in after school. 

This was a special pleasure for me because Jason is the first of our delegates in the Terriot Acadian Family that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person. Jason is a 14th-generation member of the family and delegate of the Jean and Catherine Theriault Great-Branch. He and I figured out that we are 7th cousins, twice removed. We have to go way back to the 4th generation to find our common ancestral grandparents, Claude and Marguerite Cormier who married in 1710 in Rivière-aux-Canards close to Grand Pré, Acadia (present-day Wolfville, Nova Scotia). Of Claude and Marguerite's 12 children, three were sons. Paul the elder son is Jason's ancestor while Joseph, the second son, is my ancestral grandfather. Jason's Great-Branch migrated from Grand-Pré, Acadia to Kamouraska, Québec and finally to Salem, Massachusetts.  ~JRT

Jason and Tammy... thanks for being there for America. We're proud of you and thankful for your dedication and patriotism!