Uploading photos of a bobcat snoozing three feet away from you to Facebook is an interesting Rorschach test for your friends. Reactions among my friends (on FB, in person, and on the phone) fell into four categories:
Sympathetic and Appropriately Alarmed
“Ummmm… That’s a little big for a regular cat…” – CCE, Coppell, TX.
“omfG, is that a bobcat?” – CCI, San Francisco, CA. [Editrix’s note: I particularly appreciated the capitalization of the G in this comment.]
“Holy Crap! It’s a Bob Cat! What do you do when there’s an active carnivore roaming the neighborhood?” – SHE, Midlothian, VA. [Editrix’s note: this one was actually comforting; if SHE is concerned about a bobcat in the neighborhood, then I’m not just being an indoor child pansy by freaking out.]
“HOLY SH*T. I TOLD YOU SO. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?” – BJC, Memphis, TN. [Editrix’s note: this is my sister who first sighted the bobcat and has great sympathy for the bunnies.]
“Ok. Wow. Just wow. (and yikes!)” and “HOLY … !” – HJK, Washington, DC. [Editrix’s note: HJK is a nature lover and frequently posts pictures of birds and flowers and puppies. This was also comforting.]
“OMG. CC, thats a tiger! How does animal
control know that its palate for bunnies doesnt develop into a preference for human limbs? This is too much. First the lizard in the bedroom and now a mini tiger!” – SAP, Washington, DC. [Editrix’s note: YES. EXACTLY.]
“You need a BB gun. It wont hurt it, but it will scare it. Do you have pets?” – SK, San Francisco, CA. [Editrix’s note: I probably have better aim with a BB gun than with tennis balls, which the DFW Wildlife website suggests, but it seems excessive. Until I get mauled.]
“What on earth is that? A puma???” – JHB, Virginia Beach, VA. [Editrix’s note: YES.]
“Yeah, I was freaking out a couple weeks ago about the bobcat in my back yard, but um, we live in the woods. We have to expect it. This is crazy!” – JRMC, Hartford, CT. [Editrix’s note: PRECISELY.]
“I’m glad my kid is home from his overnight camp in the woods!” – CAP, Houston, TX. [Editrix’s note: children are not much larger than bunnies.]
“You’re going to have to start going outside with a big stick.” – Mom, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Sympathetic, Not Alarmed, and Sincere
“He’s totally not going to eat/attack you. Animal control is right – he’s after the bunnies, rats, etc. We have them at our house too (which is one reason why we don’t let our cats outdoors). If you go outside he’s probably going to haul ass out of there.” – KMS, Dallas, TX. [Editrix’s note: please note “probably.” Not comforting.]
“I’m jealous! I’ve only seen a bobcat once in my life, while hiking Old Rag in VA. Well, I saw the tail end of it, very briefly, as it was running away from me.” – BKF, Washington, DC. [Editrix’s note: please feel free to take this one home.]
“so weird that he is in a neighborhood. around here, you are very lucky to see one. maybe the years of drought have pushed them into suburbia in Texas. overall, i think it’s pretty cool.” – SM, Washington, DC. [Editrix’s note: as I reported in the previous post, it has nothing to do with the drought. They are like the squirrels and rabbits, just part of the ecosystem. A terrifying, carnivorous, sharp-toothed and –clawed part of the ecosystem.]
Sympathetic but Cavalier
“Dude, Charlotte. Every time our cats get just a wee bit too frisky (daily), we’re thankful they’re not even the least bit bigger. I think that’s the difference between dogs and cats. Great Danes are just as friendly to humans as a teacup Yorkie. But if my adorable fuzzball kitten was the size of a Great Dane, she would not hesitate to eat me in my sleep. Actually, she wouldn’t wait until I was asleep, she’s just have to be hungry. You’re clearly going to have to sell the house, sorry.” – EGL, New York City, NY. [Editrix’s note: my mother and I discussed this.]
“Wow, hopefully that means you have no rats.” – NS, Washington, DC. [Editrix’s note: in retrospect, I’ve noticed a decrease in the rabbit population.]
“Or you could look at it as a sign that your vegetable garden will be safe. And then plant one, if you don’t have one already.” – DP, Washington, DC. [Editrix’s note: optimism at its finest.]
“Wow. Just…wow. At least you don’t have to worry about rabid bunnies.” – JSP, Birmingham, AL. [Editrix’s note: if the bunnies are rabid, isn’t there a risk that the bobcat is now rabid? This hadn’t occurred to me, so now I have an additional worry about my new co-resident.]
“My gut tells me that he smelled the alluring aroma of a pan being deglazed with red wine, and decided that the house emitting those heavenly scents was EXACTLY the place to make camp, just in case the owner left a window open and he was able to sneak in and get a taste…Come on, you know I’m right!” – JHB, Virginia Beach, VA. [Editrix’s note: as I wrote on Facebook, based on the carnage left on the front walk, this beast has no use for cooked food or pan sauces. Also, JHB recovered from her initial alarm with aplomb.]
“So, Charlotte, are you trapped in your own home? Do you have a can of pepper spray or something, in case this guy doesn’t know that bobcats don’t attack humans?” – KV, Houston, TX. [Editrix’s note: I did not go out the front door for two days for this very reason.]
“I know bobcats are dangerous but they’re just so cute!” – CEE, Atlanta, GA. [Editrix’s note: cute from a distance of 800 miles.]
“Cute. J. Small bobcat. Must be a kid.” – CLJ, Dallas, TX. [Editrix’s note: CLJ came to help me defend my home.]
“It’s way easier up here. Moose almost never clean themselves on your front stoop, or relax in your bushes. Plus they’re almost always easy to spot, unless you mistake them for a tree.” –DGC, St. Paul, MN. [Editrix’s note: I considered putting this one in the next category.]
Unsympathetic and Unhelpful
“it’s so cute! I think you should put out a bowl of milk for the cute little bobcat” – DS, Chicago, IL.
“And hug it, and braid its hair and name it Lola.” – CCI, San Francisco, CA. [Editrix’s note: CCI also managed to overcome his initial sympathetic reaction.]
“Lola is a good name for a bobcat. That, or, Bobbie” – DS, Chicago, IL.
“Bobbie’s a little too on the nose for me. Lola has a certain “I could go to the Copacabana tonight, or I could just maul a bunny” edge to it…” – CCI, San Francisco, CA.
“But CCI, try saying Bobbie with a British accent… it helps” – DS, Chicago, IL.
“It does help.” – CCI, San Francisco, CA. [Editrix’s note: I shouldn’t encourage them, but this is why I named the bobcat “LolaBobbie.”]
“here kitty, kitty . . . .” – PL, Austin, TX.
“If he’s leaving you rabbit heads, it means he likes you and considers your house his home. Congrats! You have one of the lowest maintenance pets in the world!” – VC, San Francisco, CA.
“awwww … it’s kind of cute in this pic. Maybe you should adopt it and name it. Bob Cooper. That has a nice ring to it. Meeeeooooooowwww” – DYC, Austin, TX
“Meow.” – LMB, Austin, TX. [Editrix’s note: this was in person, and LMB meowed like a tame kitten a couple of times in erroneous imitation of the deadly assassin squatting on my family’s property.]
“Thinking I may come up some more funny advice for you, I googled ‘How to tame a bobcat’ and got this hilarious posting on yahoo answers. My favorite quote: ‘I cannot stress this enough, it is very important! Do NOT insult the bobcat by refusing his sexual advances!’ http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100717092520AA897ai” – DS, Chicago, IL. [Editrix’s note: I highly recommend going to that link. The winning answer is fantastic, but the non-winning answers are also funny, mostly because the question submitter was “Christopher Walken,” which nobody but the winner seemed to notice.]
I’m hoping that with the motion-activated sprinkler, my baseball bat, and my new habit of talking loudly to myself when I step out the front door, LolaBobbie will find another place to snooze. I’ll keep you posted, but if you don’t hear from me, you should check my front step for Charlotte bits.