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Little Big-Eared Blessings
Saturday morning I was still in the midst of the tortured slumber induced by the combination of fire season -- the air quality has been terrible, by our standards -- and my usual respiratory challenges, when I heard Kim say the word "kittens" enthusiastically in the other room. "There are kittens on the patio," she continued.

I was already getting hurriedly to my feet when she qualified that assessment. "No, they're bobcat kittens!" I reached for my camera and put on the telephoto zoom as rapidly as possible, then made my way to the patio door. Sure enough, there were three bobcat kittens exploring the area. As their mother kept an eye on them, periodically peering around the corner, they hopped on the scratching post left behind from when Thing Two became an outdoor cat, pawed at the screen, stepped on the shell of Max the tortoise, who had recently taken up residence on the patio -- perhaps because of the bobcats in the yard -- and then ambled over to inspect the Crocs I keep on the patio.

There are few things on Earth more adorable than kittens, but BOBCAT kittens are somehow even more amazing, given the size of their ears and feet.

Because I had to shoot through the not-very-clean glass of the patio door, which also confounded the autofocus on my camera, it was hard to get decent shots. I posted the best to Facebook already, as those of you are my friends over there probably noticed. This is the funniest of the bunch and the only one to show all three baby bobcats clearly.

Kim and Skylar left on their mother-daughter San Diego trip Saturday evening. They would ask me whether I'd seen the bobcats again every time they called. Kim was concerned that she might have spooked the mother by going out in the backyard to look for a shovel. But it was hard for me to check, since I didn't want to compound the problem if the bobcats were still there by making the mother too aware of their presence. Yesterday, however, I went out on the patio to feed Max his daily ration of organic greens and strawberries and decided to peek around the corner. And there was one of the baby bobcats, playing near the solar screen that fell off the bedroom window a while back, with its siblings obviously poking back at him from the other side.

As far as I can tell, the bobcats are still in the yard. I imagine the little ones will soon be able to get over the wall that surrounds our property -- assuming that they can't do so already -- and will then be on their way. But I also know that there's a good chance that at least one of them will remain a regular visitor to our yard, since it's safe and adjoins what Kim refers to as the "salad bar", i.e. the retention basin in which the bobcat's favorites foods, especially rabbit, cavort in abundance. Even if we don't see them again, though, I will always feel blessed to have witnessed these creatures up close. Just thinking about them puts a smile on my face.

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Current Location: 85704

12 comments or Leave a comment
quuf From: quuf Date: June 14th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I love the tips of their ears. They're like little! exclamation! points!
chefxh From: chefxh Date: June 14th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Isn't it amazing how kittens can make you smile?!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 14th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It is! I hear that you have recently added some to your life. . . ;-)
From: batdina Date: June 14th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
how neat! when I lived on Glen Echo Creek I had critters on my front porch a lot and it was like living in the middle of nowhere in downtown Oakland.

but there were never bobcats. these are adorable!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 14th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
They pretty much are the definition of "cute"!
(Deleted comment)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 14th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Kim keeps wondering why the birds that wake her up aren't afraid of them, but I've told her that bobcats greatly prefer rabbit and other mammals.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: June 14th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's really cool that they're so curious and un-freaked-out by people--and they're definitely cute. But at the same time I can't help hoping they don't come back TOO often when they're all grown up. I mean, they'll be a lot bigger then...

Still: priceless photos, especially given how tough it is to get good shots through glass.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 14th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Good point. I'm sure, though, that even if one or more do come back, they will be stealthy about it. We saw what turned out to be the mom in the fall, out on the patio. She was clearly in the backyard for a while before the birth, but I never saw her. But, yes, one doesn't want to be attacked by a cat that big!
la_sauvage From: la_sauvage Date: June 15th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks for sharing the piceless picture!! BOBCATS!!! So cute! You are luck to have them so close..
carte From: carte Date: June 15th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
threestarblue From: threestarblue Date: June 15th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
<3 love !!!!!!!!
alsoname From: alsoname Date: June 16th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
WAY too cute.
12 comments or Leave a comment