OK, this is a noisy picture, but it was dark and I wasn't totally prepared nor did I have time to play with my camera. This cat was ready to bolt!
So there I am, with my sistuh Beth, minding our own business in the back yard of friends in south Florida. I was dog-sitting for my friends - 4 little doggies, ranging from 8 to 18 lbs, all a mere appetizer to a wild animal. Oh, back to my story. There we were trying to convince Jack, the 18 pound Cairn, into coming inside because it was getting dark. I want ALL those doggies in by dark cause I get nervous if they're not all accounted for. My friends wanted to come back to find the same dogs they left. It was bad enough that there were 3 alligators in the lake. Yes, there was a fence, but I saw a picture of an alligator today that was CLIMBING an 8' fence. So don't tell me there's no need to be nervous when there are little doggies UNDER MY CARE still in the backyard when it's getting dark.
So what was that, Beth? A cat, she said. A fox, I said. Photography nutcase that I am, of course I had my Canon and 400mm zoom in my hands. Doesn't everybody have one of those on hand at all times?? Duhhh
I had to prove I was right - it was a fox. So I put my camera to my eyes, zoom in tight, and see...a cat. No, not a purring tabby. A very big tabby. I didn't know what kind of cat it was, but I knew it wasn't a housecat. A housecat about 40 pounds worth? Nope.
And, of course, I took a bunch of pictures, even though it was dang near dark. Zoomed that sucker out and snapped away. The computer was the answer. I did some Photoshop magic to those dark dark what is that dark pictures. And this beautiful big cat appeared! What was it? Not a panther. Not a puma. Certainly not Fuzzy, the household cat. Off to my computer to search it out. I came to the conclusion it's a Florida Bobcat.
This cat is identifiable by its short tail (or bob -- this one was shorter than a plain cat) and the fringes of fur that outline the sides of its head---not so much, but I'm trying to fit this cat into a niche and I'm stretching the truth, okay?
"The Florida bobcat has spots of white fur on all parts of its fur, which can range in color from reddish-brown to grey." Well, ok, my cat has dark spots. That counts, doesn't it?
Bottom line: if you have better information, I'll appreciate it. I'm going to send it to the Florida Wildlife folks and have them identify her/him. They like to know where the cats are...not to take control of them, but to protect their territories and keep a count of the numbers. A hard job for these nocturnal cats whose hope is to avoid people. I wasn't scared of this one. As you can see, she had her eyes trained on me, making sure I wasn't going to try to harm HER. And I was 40-ish feet away. She certainly never expected to see me!
What a fun encounter!!
FEATURED BY TWO FineArtAmerica.com GROUPS:
1. Wildlife, 6/7/18
2. Our Four-Legged Friends, 6/7/18
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