I have recently learned that we should have one of those huge signs that states, in very black letters, capitalized with an exclamation point, kind of like this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
What brings this to mind was an elderly couple (well, elderly like me, probably) driving very slowly past the front of my house in a bright blue Volkswagen Beetle convertible the other day. Wondering if they were looking for someone that I might be able to help them with, I stepped out. They backed up and the man asked me if I had seen the bobcat.
"Bobcat?", said I. "No. Where?"
He said there had been a bobcat sitting in either my front yard or my neighbor's the night before and that it had then turned and leaped over the wall between our houses and disappeared.
Now another neighbor who works nights and comes home in the early, early morning had told me once that if I was up very early I might see bobcats, deer, coyotes, javelinas (wild pigs), and assorted other wildlife just walking down the alley between the houses or in the middle of the street. But I never have. Seen any of them or been up that early.
Oh, wait. One time a couple of months ago when SWMBO and I had been on a rare nightime outing and were coming home after dark our car's headlights had picked up a coyote at the side of the road. But that was in a ravine, not real near to houses.
Back to the fellow in the VW. He was a chatterer. He told me had lived in 31 different places in his life, around the United States and in Europe and Asia and he believed this was the best place he'd ever been. When I admired his car, he said it was his wife's toy. I jokingly said to her "but he doesn't let you drive it, eh?"
They laughed and he said that she calls him her chauffer.
He also said that they had been married for 62 years and that she was a Texas girl who he had chased and chased and chased until finally she caught him!
Anyway, he asked if I had any small animals. I replied that we had two cats but they were "inside cats" and he said "don't let them out or that bobcat will get 'em. They go after cats, rabbits, even small dogs."
Later, it occurred to me that I should alert my neighbor, a lady who lives alone but is presently caring for two medium-sized dogs. She was quite surprised about the bobcat but then told me that she had come home fairly late one night recently after attending a play and saw a pronghorn (frequently and mistakenly referred to as an antelope) standing in her front yard.
I'd have loved to have seen that. Or even the bobcat. Through a window from inside my house.
I did see a herd of cows in the savannah the other day. And I occasionally see a cottontail or a jackrabbit. But that's been about it so far this year. SWMBO has been mourning the absence of "her" bunnies. Last year she had a steady group of them in our yard that she was feeding with carrots and lettuce. But this year none at all.
Maybe the bobcat got 'em.