Bobcat Visitor

August 24, 2014 by  
Filed under In the Wild, New Posts


Bobcat_01 081Beautiful kitty in my back yard.


I looked out the window this morning, so early, the sun wasn’t up yet, and there was an unexpected visitor in my yard.

Bobcat_05 093Wow!

There are many people where I live who deny that there are big cats around, and this is a BIG cat – maybe 8 to 10 times as large as any of my domestic felines, and Sakhara is a hearty 11+ pounds.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen a live bobcat in my yard or anywhere in the wild, so I was excited.

At first it was difficult for me to be sure what kind of cat this was.  It was crouched down at the far back of the yard and I could tell it was a tawny color, but my distance vision isn’t what it used to be.  When I got out the camera and started zooming in, I was certain that this was either a big bobcat or a small mountain lion.   There have definitely been mountain lions spotted in southern Connecticut, but I haven’t heard of any this far north.

Bobcat_02 043Check out the ears.

It was the ears that first gave confirmation that this was a bobcat.

It wasn’t very bright outside yet, and the cat was crouched close to the ground and it’s head was very low at first.  This made it hard to see any stripes or spots, but when the cat turned it’s head further away, I could see the ear markings.   Definitely a bobcat!

I don’t know what he was hunting.  Something up in one of the trees kept commanding his attention, but I couldn’t see what it was.

Hattie, the feral cat who lives in my yard and who had already had her breakfast, was nowhere to be seen.  That’s Hattie’s fail safe way of staying out of the way of predators.

So I just kept on snapping photos.

I didn’t even take the time to speak with this magnificent beauty.  I got 129 photos all together, although most are now in the computer trash bin.

Bobcat_03 110Time to bathe.

Bobcat was perfectly at home and acted as though this space belonged to him.

Finally it was time for a bath.  Both forefeet and forelegs required attention before the bobcat finished grooming.

If you’d like to experiment chatting with a very wild feline, you might tune into this exquisite beauty.  I can’t guaranty that you’ll be able to have a conversation, as some wild animals have no interest at all in speaking with us.  But if you do, please share some of it in a comment on this post.

Bobcat_04 129Simply gorgeous!

One final photo to show off his magnificent self before disappearing.

I turned away for just a moment, and when I looked back, bobcat was gone without leaving a trace.







Nedda Wittels, Moderator

The Case of the Missing Bathroom Mat

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under In the Wild, New Posts

A Bedding Upgrade

Feral cat, Hattie, lives in my backyard.Feral cat, Hattie,
lives in my backyard.


Hattie, a semi-feral cat, has been living in my backyard for more than seven years.  Her feeding station is a large box covered with a tarp to keep out the wind.  It’s large enough for her to have a water dish, a food bowl, and some bedding, so I’ve been using old bath mats to give her a place to curl up during the day and keep her feet warm and dry.

Hattie is an excellent hunter, and during the winter her feeding station becomes littered with bird feathers.  Now that spring is here, at least in theory, since this is New England, I was planning on washing her mat on a warm day when there was enough time to dry it and replace it for her.

A few nights ago, at dusk, I spied a raccoon hanging out beneath the bird feeders.  The feeders are only available in the late fall, winter, and early spring because the bears are awake in the summer and will knock everything down.

The raccoon seemed content to eat off the ground, or so I thought.  The next morning, one of my feeders had had the top opened and was now empty.  It was clear that the squirrel baffle, which worked just fine at keeping the squirrels on the ground, was not a challenge for this very beautiful raccoon.

Hattie_in_feederHattie in her feeding station.

So I decided to bring that particular feeder in at night, since the other one couldn’t be opened so easily, and didn’t give the matter any additional thought.

Then yesterday morning, when I went out to give Hattie her breakfast, I was astonished to discover that the floor mat inside her feeding station was completely missing.  There was no damage to anything, but it just was no longer there.

This particular mat I had purchased especially for Hattie.  It’s 100% cotton and very thick, and I had folded it in half, so the insulation was excellent.

I asked Hattie if she knew what had happened to her mat, but she didn’t.  She told me it was gone when she got up that morning.  The water dish had not been knocked over or even knocked into, as the floor of her station was dry.

Bears don’t care about floor mats, and the remaining feeder was undisturbed.

My surmise is that the raccoon, who had been washing her feet in the Hattie’s water dish after eating, had discovered the mat and decided to take it home.  I suspect she’s planning on using it for a litter of babies.  It probably smelled just great to her, as it had some of Hattie’s fur and bird feathers attached to it.

I may be cute, but I’m a wild animal.

Of course, Hattie has another mat now, as I contributed one of the house ones that had gone into the wash earlier that morning.

As for the raccoon?

Nedda:  “Hi.  I’m one of the people whose bird feeder you’ve been eating at.”

Raccoon:  “Oh, yes.  Thanks for the food.”

Nedda:  “Did you take anything else while you were in my yard?”

Raccoon:  “Yes.”

Nedda:  “Was it soft and dark brown in color, and something you had to drag away?  If so, I would call that a ‘mat’.”

Raccoon:  “I’m not bringing it back.”

Nedda:  “Of course not.  I wouldn’t ask you to do that.  I just wanted to know if you took it.”

Raccoon:  “Yes.  It’s for my nest/babies.”

Nedda:  “I thought that might be the case.  I hope you and your babies enjoy it.”

Raccoon:  “Best bedding ever!”

Mystery solved!

Hattie says she likes her new mat even better than the old because it’s fluffier.  So if I buy her a new one, I’ll be sure get a fluffy one next time.  For now, she’s content, and so is the raccoon!

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