Thursday, June 01, 2006











STRANGER IN MY BACK YARD...

Many new developments have erupted around the areas where I live. Beautiful homes now stand where once animals roamed. These animals have been forced from their natural Habitat and now seek refuge in the thick brush that spread across the hillside behind my home.

For a whole month I had watched this cat walk in and out of my backyard, marking her territory and finally making it her home, and then feel comfortable enough to give birth to two beautiful kittens. I have been in close proximity to this cat. Not being afraid because to me it was just a house cat. The only strange thing was there were not many rabbits playing in the hillside and also very few birds chirping in the morning.

I had seen many a neighbors cat walk around in my backyard, I thought this was one of them who had decided my backyard was more comfortable and the grass is always greener on the other side it is said. One saturday morning the cat arrived as usual but she was not alone, running behind her were two beautiful kittens. I called out to "J" to come and see the cat , hoping he would say we can keep one of them. One look at his face and I knew something was wrong. He asked me to come inside, shut the door and said "How can you mistake a Bobcat for a house cat. Dont you see how different they look?" I had never seen a Bobcat before so it made no difference. In the days that followed we had a visit from the local police, The wild life society & the neighbors. The once quiet house was buzzing with excitement and fear. All the children and small pets were kept indoors people were all over the house with cameras and Binoculars. only the local news media was absent. I think "J" did not want everyone to know how stupid I was , and also that I would entertain a stranger for a whole month in my back yard without his knowledge.

Traps were set all over the yard. The cat sensing danger decided it was time to leave. The traps were empty , one morning I saw the cat , kittens entow walking across the neighboring hillside. A year has passed and I still look out hoping to get a glimpse of the Bobcat, but she is nowhere to be seen. I think she has found a place to call her own faraway from man. I was glad that I was able to enjoy the company of a wild cat without being afraid.

66 comments:

Suji 9:14 AM  

Wow that was a great experience. But the question is "who" was the stranger in whose backyard? The cat probably thought of u as the stanger in her backyard.

starry nights 10:46 AM  

Thats right, because before our house was built , this was the cats home.

Id it is 2:05 PM  

Live and let live. That was the operational principle until civilization intervened! Yet we pride ourselves on being 'civilized', even if it translates into throwing someone out of his native home.
Thanks for sharing.

chandni 7:05 PM  

what are bob cats??

i have no idea!

southpaw 8:17 PM  

:)one of the most beautifull and mysterious creature.

starry nights 8:30 PM  

Chandni..I also did not know about Bobcats before. Despite its pussycat appearance when seen in repose, the Bobcat is quite fierce and is equipped to kill animals as large as deer. When living near a ranch, it may take lambs, poultry and even young pigs. However, food habit studies have shown Bobcats subsist on a diet of rabbits, ground squirrels, mice, pocket gophers and wood rats. Quail have been found in bobcat stomachs, but predation by bobcats does not harm healthy game populations. Young Bobcats appear as lovable and harmless domestic kittens, but because they are wild animals with the ability to inflict injury to humans, it is illegal to keep Bobcats as pets without special permits.

Gaurav Jain 9:27 PM  

Hey I think I watched one series on these cats on Animal Planet recently. It was about raising these animals in a foster home.

Yeah, they're not like the typical cats that we keep for pets (and I guess it's not legal to keep these as pets in the US, is it?).

No wonder as soon as the cat arrived in your backyard, the "rabbits" and the "chirping of birds" disappeared :)

Nice pics. So these pics were shot a year ago?

Srijith Unni 10:24 PM  

Discovering a new animal, something we have not seen before is in itself a wonderful experience, and that too if it is free..:-)

Thanks to you, I came to know a lot about bobcats today. They indeed look bigger and more fierce than the normal domestic pussycat.

Nice post and cool pics.

With Best Regards,
Srijith.

Has to be me 1:46 AM  

Whoa! Bob cats! Interesting! Nice 2 note abt the birth of the kittens.

Looks like we can have a mini game viewing if v came 2 ur house! LOL! :)

adi 6:32 AM  

oops...

i posted something which got deleted due to browser error...

perhaps i was wondering where the cats will go when the builders capture their remaining land also...

well, thanks for dropping by.
do u understand hindi?

adi

Rose 6:33 AM  

Iv never seen a Bobcat myself.. but wow! u hd a wild cat in ur very backyard??.. cool. :)

As a kid i used to hv the habit of bringing home little puppies, kittens, frogs even from the streets, to the horror of my mother.. I had once brought a kitten home.. she ws this beautiful orange colour.. But i only had her for a few days.. Ma threw her away when i was at school..
:(

..Me

Alexis Leon 7:31 AM  

That was fun. Nice pictures too. You live in a very beautiful place.

starry nights 7:49 AM  

Gauruv ..Yes those pictures were shot last summer. I am looking out to see if they come back this year but so far no see.

starry nights 7:50 AM  

Srijith..It was an interesting experience. Thanks for visiting.

starry nights 7:51 AM  

Id IT IS..Thanks for stopping by my blog and do come again.

starry nights 7:52 AM  

Has to be me..No more wild game came visiting after that, only a cayote.I will post a picture.

starry nights 7:53 AM  

Adi..There is a lot of open land. we live in a valley and it is surrounded with a lot of hills. so I think they just moved on. I understand some hindi..like in the hindi movies. I have forgotten most.

starry nights 7:54 AM  

Rose. It was exciting. I felt really stupid for not knowing it was a Bobcat. but I see that I am not alone.

starry nights 7:54 AM  

Alexis.. Thanks

Sorabh Raina 12:13 PM  

i liked the last lines very much

but ur backyard is indeed beautiful

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP 12:22 PM  

Wht a beautiful backyard...it is so romantic...Perfect place for you n J...** naughty grin**
The cat really looked like a cub to me, maybe a baby panther or something...
We have indeed taken away their space n they have learnt to adapt over the centuries...We adapted too n god knows tomorrow who is going ot take our place! :)

starry nights 1:32 PM  

Sorabh Raina...WElcome to my blog and please come back.

starry nights 1:33 PM  

Scribblez..Romantic indeed.(smile)
yes we do have areally quiet and serene backyard only a hillside,but ots of birds and small animals.

nandi23 1:34 PM  

Thanks for dropping by.
btw those pics are really nice.
I ofen times think about how we just assume to take over the earth and then get angry when animals move into our homes even though we were the ones that forced them out of theirs

starry nights 3:29 PM  

nandi23 Thanks for stopping by my blog and please come again.You are so right, we fail to remember that the animals were here before us.

sailaja 4:24 PM  

Thank you for dropping by my blog.
Wow, beatiful shots of bobcats.

Came to know about these cats today..that sure was an interesting experience and did I tell you that you have a beautiful backyard?

sophie 9:17 PM  

hey i am scared of cats...any pet...

Manic Street Preacher 11:21 PM  

amazing post. ive a penchant for snakes...thassal. this cat looks lik a cub ... tho wasnt really sure what bobcats are till u explained it...

just dropped by...
peace..!!
\m/

I love Munich 1:05 AM  

That was sure a beautiful experience you won't forget so soon! Both of you felt safe .... you and the bobcat and even though it is considered a dangerous animal - rest assured, I'd have done the same thing! As you said - she was at your place BEFORE you came ...
Great post!!

Sumitha 1:54 AM  

Oh Star,never seen a bobcat before,Thank God you were safe!

JamesBright 2:21 AM  

They look like little tigers..!

Madhu 3:35 AM  

wow! that's some experience. they look like coguars just that its spotted...:) i have had some close shaves with snakes and once with a black scorpion...but nothing bigger thankfully!

jac 5:33 AM  

Wow ! That was wonderful pics.

You have sensors all around you. LOL

starry nights 7:09 AM  

Sophie Ihave no pets either.Not afraid of cats though.

starry nights 7:11 AM  

sailaja...Thank you

starry nights 7:30 AM  

Manic street preacher...welcome to my blog and please come back. I am scared of snakes too.Its good to know that I was not the only one who did not know what a bob cat was.

starry nights 7:31 AM  

Karin..Thank you. and like u said I was comfortable with the cat untill it was pointed out to me that it can be dangerous.

starry nights 7:32 AM  

Sumitha..I had never seen a bobcat before either.

starry nights 7:35 AM  

Dreams a little ...Yes they do just smaller.

Madhu..I have had a close encounter with a small snake and was terrified.But somehow this cat seemed harmless because when I was taking the pictures she just sat there and stared, did not run away.

starry nights 7:37 AM  

Thank you Jac..I was busy taking all these pictures even a video untill I was told it could be dangerous, then I was hiding inside the house looking out of the window.

Anu 7:43 AM  

Wow, had only heard of bobcats, came to know more about them today. The mother does look a little wild and different from the house cat, spots and the ear I suppose. Nice experience!!

starry nights 7:48 AM  

Anu..Yes I learnt late that the ears are black and the tail is short.I learnt alot also and did not feel stupid.

Loga 11:21 AM  

I camt to know about bob cats only today...seeing the pics before reading, i thought they looked like tiger kids....

starry nights 8:08 PM  

LOga Thanks for visiting my blog and do come again. They do look like tiger cubs.

smz 8:49 PM  

OMG!!!!!!! those are for real... if i had something like that in my back yard you will see my moving to another continent..... hahahaha... but really that's pretty sick... well i guess your use to this by now.... itz like in canada we have ammmmmmmmmmmmmm squirrels... and itz normal... but when my friend came from australia he was going CRAZY looking at them... anyways nicely done...

thanks for dropping by... take care

sophie 2:55 AM  

u are tagged ...visit my blog for details

Ajay 5:26 AM  

err.
sorry , but i am ignorant
what is a bob cat ?

Sarah 1:29 PM  

OMG: that was scary..but then again Chief Dan george once said
"Don't fear anything, for if you fear, you will destroy wht you fear.."

starry nights 2:43 PM  

tHANKS SMZ..for visiting my blog and do come again.

starry nights 4:39 PM  

Sophie have taken you up on your tag. thanks.

jac 6:39 PM  

Are you too a chuchumulli like Sarah ?
:))

hillgrandmom 4:34 AM  

Ooh, what a lovely experience! When I saw the pics I thought they were cougars. I've seen a pic of a bobcat in my kids' encyclopedia.

starry nights 7:58 AM  

Jac..Sometimes I think I am a chuchumulli like sarah...(grin)

starry nights 7:59 AM  

Hillgrandmom..It was an exciting experience. sometimes I wish they would visit my backyard again.

starry nights 8:01 AM  

Ajay...Dont worry I did not know about Bobcats or have seen any untill it was pointed out to me.If you google "Bobcats" there is a lot of info about them. Too much to write in here.

passerby55 1:41 AM  

good lush green courtyard!

green feels cool for the eyes the summer is at its zenith.

never seen such cats... they luke scary

bye

passerby55 1:42 AM  

Hi again

wht pink flowers are those?...are they wild flowers

starry nights 11:07 AM  

Passer by...Those pink flowers are Geraniums, i dont know if they grow in India,they are not wild we had planted them on the slope to look pretty and you see my sons basketball.Actually now the pink flowers have spread and looks really lovely.

starry nights 11:07 AM  

Passer by...Those pink flowers are Geraniums, i dont know if they grow in India,they are not wild we had planted them on the slope to look pretty and you see my sons basketball.Actually now the pink flowers have spread and looks really lovely.

Inji Pennu 8:00 PM  

i showed my husband this and he made a wise crack like "Oh! so another blogger like you"!!!!
Arrrrgh!! He meant we both are same in the common sense department!!!!

starry nights 9:52 PM  

Lg..My husband can never understand how I could have mistaken this cat for a house cat but I really did.

oopseedaisee 6:38 PM  

Such a shame. We invade their territory in the name of progress, then we have to chase them away. I hope they found a safe new home to settle in.

Dotm 4:52 PM  

I loved seeing the pictures. I have only seen them in pictures and on TV, not live running in my yard. They are so cute looking.
It is so easy to not be afraid that way. I once thought they were just neighbors dogs tearing our rabbit coop apart and I grabbed the broom and headed out to scare them away. Turned out to be 3 wolfs, not regular dogs. I saw that when I got closer. I was lucky as they took off on a run into the woods. Think it was the porch light coming on that realy scared them away. They had an awful howling sound, nothing like a dogs howl. We lived on that farm for a year and they never came back.

Anonymous,  3:03 PM  

Nice colors. Keep up the good work. thnx!
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Anonymous,  6:25 PM  

Your website has a useful information for beginners like me.
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Sojourner 12:57 AM  

Nice pictures again and quite an experience!
And i learned about bob cats a little:)

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