It’s not the most creative name for a bobcat, especially one so gorgeous. I mean, look at her? Right?

Bobbie, the bobcat. She was very calmly watching the house at dawn on a cold February morning.

When she crouches down in the path at night, sometimes I mistake her for one of the feral domestic cats we encounter from time to time.

But she’s Definitely not domestic.

And a wild animal probably shouldn’t have a real name. You can get attached to any animal, but an animal with a name is sure to become part of your mind’s inner landscape. For better and worse. So generic ol’ Bobbie it is.

She (or one of her brethren) has been around the yard for a few years, leaving prints in the snow and the occasional tufts of rabbit fur. She has a path she takes behind the house and over to a small copse of cedar trees where she stalks the poor rodents. A few weeks ago, she walked off with a gray squirrel in her mouth, the blood dripping trail down the sidewalk, through the backyard, past the neighbor’s, and then out again across the street, where I presume her den is located. The blood disappeared shortly under a fresh layer of snow, only to reappear, almost as fresh, when it melted again a few days later. Bright splashy red. I imagine the poor squirrel’s heart was beating quite hard. Terrifying.

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