Lynx rufus, aka, Bobcat. Makes its home from southern Canada to northern New Mexico and virtually every region of the continental United States. An average of three feet in length, (the stubby tail adds another few inches), stands up to 24 inches at the shoulders and weighs an average of 30 pounds for a male, 15 for a female.
So, I'm telling my husband about this coyote and point to where I've seen him and at the exact moment in the exact spot something slinks across the field, heading for the woods south on our property. Same color as a coyote and nearly the same length, but it didn't stand as high off the ground as a coyote. And then I saw its tail. Or rather, lack thereof. I grabbed the binoculars that I keep on the swing and focused on the animal.
By the sound of my enthusiastic shout, "It's a BOBCAT!!!" you'd think I'd found the stolen Antwerp gems.
It was in the early '70s, upstate New York. My family lived on Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York. My parents befriended a couple who owned a local pet shop called Noah's Ark. They traveled around the world procuring animals for people with expensive taste in domestic pets. Or wild animals that they dreamed of domesticating. We went to Noah's Ark a lot, always eager to see what new animals the husband and wife had brought back from their travels. I didn't have any favorites - loved them all - but I figured if my parents would allow me to have an exotic pet they'd lean more toward a won't-weigh-more-than-30 pounds kitty, like an ocelot or margay, than say a chimpanzee,
Or wolf, adult or pup
Leopardus pardalis, aka Ocelot and dwarf leopard. Common in South America but have been spotted as far north as Texas.
I'm more fortunate than a lot of nature lovers because I have my own backyard Wild Kingdom. Maybe the bobcat will spread the word and show up one day with a friend. A lynx. Cheetah. Or maybe a jaguar! Or....silly thinking. Blame it on my writer's imagination.
Any interesting wild critters roaming about in your neck of the woods/city/suburbs? (of the four-legged variety:-)