I didn't sleep well last night, and between 2 and 5 am I was up, watching 24-hour news coverage of Katrina's approach and landfall, and reading--because I'm behind, and because it seemed appropriate, Crusader's Cross, the newest Dave Robicheaux novel by James Lee Burke.
A couple of different times during that period I heard a bizarre noise outside, At first I thought it might be a bobcat, which makes what's been described as a "coughing bark." I turned on an outside light, and it stopped. A while later, it happened again, this time not stopping when I turned on lights. This time it sounded more like an injured coyote. The dogs in the area were barking like mad in response to it. The noise came from near the barn, so I tugged on some boots, grabbed two flashlights and went looking for the source. It stopped before I got there, and whatever it was left or hid well enough, and never returned.
Very weird. We may never know what it was, but it sounded good-sized. Another mystery beast at the Flying M.