Yellow eye stared at me; slowly sizing me up as I looked back. I stood still and stared back in disbelief. The bobcat was right in front me! I had been busy hand pruning the inside of a hedge when I saw his legs go by from the other side. I figured he’d see my UTV and walk around it. Never did I expect him to walk in between it and open gate I was in.
It was the boy-cat, too. I had seen him a few weeks ago walking side by side with his mother. He was smaller and young. While he had a nice coat, there were no spots on it yet. Looking at him, I could tell he was roughly the height of my four year old Yellow Lab and weighed about 50 to 60 pounds. He was lean. He ate well, but the wild rabbits at work have no fat and this cat was all muscle.
He was also very used to people. A resident said that the bobcat had brushed up against him early in the morning one day; Just like a house cat. That resident now checks his surroundings very carefully now before heading towards his golf cart.
Almost lazily the cat turns his head and strolls away. It took me a few seconds longer to react.
“Here kitty, kitty.” I called walking after it. “Here kitty.” (I blame The Nomad Grad for this. If she can stare down full grown lions, I should be able to pet a bobcat that rubs up on people.)
The cat thinks I’m a little nuts and walks a little faster.
I stop, disappointed. Then realization kicks in. I was in a fenced enclosure with a five foot wide hedge covering three sides, a wall blocking off any real opening on the “open” side, and a mini canal connecting the wall like an “L”. I had no where to go and the cat was blocking the only exit. He is faster and can jump higher with much less effort. Not a good spot to be.
I watch as the cat walks down the street along the wall until he finds the opening in the woods to cross over to the other residential park. Then, loud noises from landscaping machinery on that side brings him back.
I see him walking towards me hugging the trees that are planted near the wall. Clearer minded this time, I walk out of my enclosure and put the UTV/Mule between us. The cat turns into the trees ahead of me and disappears.
I lost him. I didn’t see if he kept moving or if he decided to just lay down. Is he behind the trees next to the wall? Did he crawl under the little bit of chain-link fence that connects the wall to the mini canal? I don’t know. All I know is that I have to get back to work.
I sneak up the small embankment and peer in between the tree line and the wall. Nothing. Maybe he left or decided to walk towards the woods instead. (Across the street and down the road roughly a block away.) I never found out. I took a moment and started back trimming.
My only regret is that I don’t have a camera on my cell phone.
That would’ve been one hell of a picture.