Bobcat, Lynx rufus, looks a lot like your family kitty cat, but he is easily recognized because of his black tipped stubby tail and the fact that he is about twice the size of a well-fed domestic cat. Other important distinguishing marks are his tufted ears and the black bars on his front legs. He is very solitary and nocturnal in habit and usually tries to pretty much stay out of sight. "Elusive" comes to mind as a good descriptive term. This is not to say that he is at all bashful or shy, just very private in his ways. If you are very lucky, you might get a glimpse of him when he is hunting late in the evening or early in the morning.

Generally speaking, Bobcat's preferred prey is rabbit (both jackrabbit and cottontail) but he will take almost anything that he comes across including squirrels, birds and even young deer. What he hunts depends on a lot of things including availability and relative size. A full grown adult male can stand close to two feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 30 or 40 pounds. That makes him a rather formidable collection of muscle, teeth, and claw. (He is another good reason to keep your dog inside at night.)

bobcat

bobcat

Bobcat is handsome and clearly knows how to take care of himself. He is an obvious candidate to be included in any culture's mythology. Because he is endemic to North America, the Greeks and Romans didn't get to know him, but they did know several of his cousins in the Lynx family and they made a great to do over them. Aztecs and Native Americans respected Bobcat's superb hunting abilities and sought to emulate them. European settlers admired Bobcat's handsome coat and prized it for clothing. Today, we are told by Fish and Game that he is holding his own and learning how to adapt to civilization pretty well. Here in The Sea Ranch we have adopted a policy of live and let live. We don't know how many of these "Wildcats" we have living here with us, but the number is probably a single digit.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty....