The other morning, I just happened to be standing quietly beside my bed when I saw a tawny wild body come gracefully through the underbrush and timber a few feet from the open window. At first glance I thought it was a coyote but it was a bob cat. In full sunlight, it crossed the wide clearing of the front yard, stopping twice to get a bearing on the dogs' location. I tried to quietly go for my camera, but at the first creak of my knees, the animal fled into cover. After it was gone from sight, the dogs became aware of its presence. They ran toward the south bend of the creek, but they were not barking. I am not sure if that meant they were they in hunting mode, or if it was an animal they know and tolerate in an uneasy agreement to share the neighborhood. Duke has enjoyed wild coyote "friends" several times over the long years of his life. Why not a bobcat, especially since a bobcat could probably take the old Duke down in a serious altercation. Make peace not war has always been the old Dukenator's personal philosophy.
I was glad to see the wild animal even though it might very well have been the demise of most of my chickens, and likely two of my three cats. If not this particular bobcat, then surely one of its kin. It has as much right to the creek as I do. Though I loved my chickens and was not careless with them... well, everyone loves to eat chicken. As long as the wild critters do not attack me, nor the Duke, nor most of my family members, we can live in peace. I have resigned myself to living without a cat, though I dearly love the members of the feline nation. It hurts to lose a chicken but it is a serious wound to lose a beloved cat. The solution is to simply not own a cat. That way, seeing a bob cat less than ten feet from where I stand is a good thing - a gift from nature - not something to dread.
Now that I have seen the wild cat, I worry about the trappers, the hunters, and all of my neighbors with guns in their homes and in their trucks. I hope the animal can avoid them all.