Here, Kitty Kitty- a recent encounter

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Andrew Griffin, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    627
    Oct 22, 2015
    Here, Kitty Kitty IMG_6421.JPG

    Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
    In the forests of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry.

    William Blake



    Bobcats eat quail like popcorn. And field mice. And squirrels. And rabbits. I've lost goat kids to bobcats, and lambs, and turkeys, and chickens. They're fierce little predators. Not many critters mess with bobcats. I've read that, pound for pound, bobcats are the most ferocious fighters in North America, punching WAY above their weight. Smart dogs don't chase them. They're beautiful too. A number of times at dawn I've seen bobcats up quite close from our kitchen window as they silently hunt among the grasses in the pasture. They're usually so alert and shy to be seen that I'm thinking there must be a reflection off the window glass which prevents them from seeing me. I think of bobcats as "four wheel drive house cats," because they're really not as big as their reputation, but they are jacked up on long, long legs with big, big paws. In the canyon below my house every willow tree has a trunk that shows the slashes and scars from the bobcats reaching up to scratch and sharpen their claws.

    House cats are fierce too, when they're not being cute, adorable, lazy or spoiled. Was it Victor Hugo who said, "God made the cat to give humankind the pleasure of caressing the tiger?" Have you ever watched house cats play with their prey and felt glad that they aren't as big as tigers? Our cat, Samson, slays gophers and rats, lizards, flies, and mice with abandon, and it seems to be his dream to murder a hummingbird. But he spends lots of time snoozing in the sun or rolling in the catnip. Samson needs his rest and relaxation, because he lives in a dangerous neighborhood. Several weeks ago Maria, who was working in the garden near our packing shed, reported that she saw a "gato montes" chasing Samson out of the canyon and across the field. "Gato Montes" means "bobcat" in Spanish. I wasn't happy to hear this news. Samson got away, but I imagined he was in a panic. Our poor, fierce, vulnerable, house tyger.

    I spent last Saturday cutting limbs on the willow trees that had fallen onto the deer fence that surrounds the little field below my house. Miguel and Maria stayed behind, lopping the smaller limbs off the branches and loading the trimmings onto the truck which I'd left parked along the fence line. I was in the zinnia garden when I heard Miguel calling up to me. "Maria sees the cat that chased your cat last week," he yelled. "You gotta look at this." He seemed insistent so I walked back down the slope. "There," he said, pointing into the brush just through the fence. I looked, expecting a bobcat. A fully mature mountain lion looked back at us; calm, quiet, and entirely at ease in her perch atop the food chain.

    "Holy $#*!," I said. "Have you taken a picture?

    "No," he said. And I didn't have my own cell phone with me.

    "Well, take one now!"

    He took a shot. We looked at the picture. The image was blurry compared to the clarity of this cougar a mere 25 feet from us. You can also call these big cats "pumas", like they do in Spanish." The mountain lion, or "Puma concolor" to the scientists, is a feline with many names, but "gato montes" isn't one of them. Maria is no zoologist, apparently, but I see now why she felt that it was important to share with me her observation of Samson being pursued. It's clear to me now as well why Maria seemed puzzled that I wasn't more impressed by here initial report. It IS VERY impressive to encounter a mountain lion at close range. I've seen them a number of times from a distance, and the most impressive thing about them has always been just how fast they moved, how fluidly they melted into the landscape, and how effortlessly they bounded over fences.

    Miguel took several more pictures. Before he had a shot that entirely satisfied me the big cat got annoyed with us mere paparazzi. She stood up, stretched and turned. With a dismissive flick of her long, long, tail, she faded from view like a Cheshire cat, leaving only her dark eyes to gaze back at me in my mind. "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright" indeed! In the forests of my own back yard! Sometimes reality is closer than you think.

    Happy Thanksgiving.
     
  2. This was like a episode of
    Usual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Except the guy wasn’t forced to go and pet it. Thanks for sharing!
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Wow!

    We have Mountain Lions here, they have been spotted a block away. We back up to the open space and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

    We get Bobcats in our front and back yards along with Coyotes who a at times have ventured up on our deck and up to the sliding glass doors and looked in.

    Our old cat gets very angry with us, he is not allowed outside after dark.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  4. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    984
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    That's not a Bobcat. It's a Cougar. I guess you knew that.
    Next time, try this: :eek:
     
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I’ve got them here as well, well one for sure they tend to be territorial and range from 35 to 50 miles in a sort of radius. I always drove my kids up the drive to the bus when they were little.

    I read that pound for pound a mountain lion is the strongest cat on the planet capable of jumping from a sit straight up 25-35 feet. I love cats big and small and have had the opportunity to play with tiger lion and mountain lion cubs. Talk about sharp claws? And little teeth like knives as well
     
    Waxhead and Andrew Griffin like this.
  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
  7. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Marlin Perkins: 'Fowler, get up closer to that thing!'
     
  8. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    627
    Oct 22, 2015
    we're down in between Corralitos and Watsonville, so our cat might visit you
     
    radd likes this.
  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Nice Encounter of the 1st type (Animal) @Andrew Griffin... :cool::cool::cool:

    We do not have such feline or canine here in France - unfortunately for us:(, and fortunately for them:) !

    If ever there was, they were irremediably hunted, persecuted, poisoned, slaughtered, decimated, destroyed, eliminated.:eek::mad:

    Sometimes, I imagine encountering in my garden a Kirghiz or Tadjik Snow Leopard... :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
    Jeff67, Waxhead, radd and 2 others like this.
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    He's (or Her ?) name is Messi :



    A+!
     
    Waxhead, new6659 and Andrew Griffin like this.
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Most exotic thing I’ve seen in the wild of the Netherlands is a Raccoon. Probably an escapee(They’re not native except near the German border).

    Now Monkey Island is different story. :)
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    He's (or Her ?) name is Messi :



    A+!
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  13. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    726
    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I’ve read that Europe long ago had lions, tigers, cougars, and even elephants, all gone now. It seems that weather is the most dangerous threat today. I don’t know where in France you are, M. Sterg, but I hope you are safe from the floods!
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  14. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    726
    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    That’s a great story and picture. Where do you live?
     
  15. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    True @Jerry Roll Horton : European Territory is good for Humans, so indeed it was good for Animals before the Human reign hegemony... But there's still good places in Eastern Europe for Animal Wilderness Authenticity, fortunately !

    Our French catastrophes naturelles can't compare with the one encountered in America, for sure. Well... Until now, at least o_O... And think France is about the size of a say medium-size US state, roughly ! I am accross the Alpin Region, so floods are not so much to fear, conversely to earthquakes.

    A+!
     
  16. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Gorgeous kitty.

    Melanie Griffith grew up with a pet lion.
     
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Cougars have fascinated me for a long time. They are a “Lesser Cat”, which means that the don’t roar, do purr and in the case of the cougar, are essentially larger versions of the species which is curled on my lap as I type this.

    Long ago, in a Galaxy far away, ok, actually Boulder, CO in 1973, I was waiting in a friend’s car when I noticed that there was a half grown Mountain Lion sleeping on the dashboard of the pickup in the next parking space. The owner came and I was able to pet him. It was more docile than the average house cat.

    However, I must now play my high card; in the mountains just a few miles south of my home, Jaguars are occasionally spotted. Actual, real Jaguars have been known to show up on wildlife cameras. A fellow in a nearby town ran into a Jaguar while our hunting. He lost a dog to the big cat. Since then, I’ve started keeping a broom on my porch. :)
     
    new6659 and blueruins like this.
  19. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    What a beautiful encounter!!!

    The Puma doesn’t seem complete fazed by your presence. And doesn’t look too hungry either:)
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Ever had a cat doge the string to attack the hand? Just saying.
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
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