My Baby Bobcat

Bobcat kitten
Bobcat kitten
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I will preface this by saying that I grew up in a very animal friendly family, but it was very large. With so many siblings, there was no privacy, no peace and quiet.

I gained my serenity by being in the woods for hours at a time, sitting on a big coquina rock by a downed tree, watching nature.

It was common for me to bring home stray cats (sometimes, lizards and turtles) and for my sister, Mary, to bring home stray people (Herb, the homeless bum lived with us for almost 2 years).

I was around 10 years old when I went to sit in my favorite place and saw a kitten in a dug up area under the downed tree. He was , what I thought, crying; but, the sound was a high pitched sort of hoarse “Aaaaaaaay”.

Since I considered myself an expert in taking home “wild cats” (there was no term such as “feral” then) that I could love into being tamed, I snatched up this little baby. He was brown and grey, had a stubby tail, and had really hairy pointed ears. He was so pretty, and I knew I had found a treasure.

It took about 5 seconds before he began his fight to be free. I had a light weight jacket on and zipped him inside. Even though I had on a shirt and sweat shirt under, he screeched, clawed, and bit so much that I ran all the way back home with him.

As always, Mom was in the kitchen when I let my baby go and said, “Got me another cat, Mom”. My poor kitty was so scared that he just raced around, growling. So much noise that my mom came from the kitchen and began screaming for my dad, “Oh my God, Edward, she has a bobcat!” She opened the front, back, and sliding glass doors. He raced out and off.

That was the very first time that I told my mother that I hated her. When I stopped crying, she read about bobcats to me in (get this) the Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary and nursed my scratches, gashes, and bites

She told me that I had brought home a very wild and dangerous cat, and that his mother could have killed me if she had been there. Of course, I didn’t believe that nonsense. After all, I could have loved his mother into niceness too.

To me, he was just a kitty. I watched for him everyday on that rock for a long time, but he was gone.


Photo: by USDA (US Dept of Agriculture). The cat’s name is “Chips” and he was recovered from a fire. The photo is for illustrative purposes.

40 thoughts on “My Baby Bobcat”

        • Wow!
          I don’t know what to say except, “Sorry”.
          She wasn’t a lover of animals, I guess.
          Were there outdoor animals?
          Please elaborate so I can understand.

          • We had a lot of outside cats with even more as mama got older. But she was obsessive about the house and believed pets should stay outside. We had a huge dog house made of brick that we’d winterfy and the fence was huge. Mamas cats kept her moving several more years than she would have without them to care for.

            • I hope I have cats to care for because they will keep me up and about for years just like your Mama. Sounds liek a real nice doghouse you made 🙂 I’d love to build my cats their own house.

      • Wow Dee – I’m so glad I read all your comments here too – I wish I could have grown up in the nature like you. I dream of living in a house in the woods like that. I am so jealous. What an amazing family.

        Seeing pics of little bobcats must always remind you of him. I went and looked at the pic of the one on the rock you referred to – now I know what the kitten you found really looked like. So sweet. I wish you could have kept him. He was calling for his mama poor thing. I assume he either found her or didn’t make it.

  1. I really, really wish I ‘d known your family, you your sister and your brother Richard and your mum and dad, I’m speechless with admiration for you all and for the absolute love you all had/have for people and animals, you cancel out all the horrible dysfunctional families who care for nothing except themselves. You know Dee you should write a book of memoirs, it would be a best seller, I’m fascinated by your stories.

    • I never thought about writing memoirs. It was all just normal to me.
      We really weren’t wealthy or anything like that. My mom was an R.N. but quit working when I was 5y/o because the family was growing so much. My dad was an engineer for NASA on the Cape.; a decent salary, but a lot of family to support.
      They were transparent in most things, especially finances. We were aware when sacrifices had to be made in order to make ends meet, especially when a new family member entered the picture.
      We were encouraged to be vocal and opinionated.
      It was expected that we would excel academically and as human beings. It was a given that animals were to be loved and cared for.
      That’s just the way it was.
      Believe me, I was very vocal and opinionated!

        • Yes men like your father know that being a man doesn’t mean being cruel and dominant, Woody and his ilk (he could start a pop group with that name) aren’t fit to retrospectively lick your father’s boots Dee. Was your dad involved in the moon landing Dee, I’m fascinated with all things astronaut, there was a couple of programmes on TV here a while back about it and Ruth and I were both really interested in it. I’ve enjoyed reading about your family Dee, have you any more stories?

          • Dad began his work with NASA in 1960 while they were in the throws of configuring the first manned spacecraft. Alan Shepard became the first USA man in space in 1960. I watch the launch, because we lived in Titusville. It was just a matter of going to the Indian River and looking across the water.
            In 1966, the VAB (vehicle assembly building) was constructed, and it was fun to watch the missiles leave the building and transported to the launching pad.
            I think the moon landing was in 1969. Dad was involved in the capacity of design and safety with the crafts.
            He took an early retirement in 1980. It made me happy, because the hospital I was working at was getting saturated with Cape workers who had stress related maladies, ie. heart attacks, bleeding ulcers.

            • That’s so interesting Dee, and about so many of the workers having stress related illnesses, never thought about that happening, all we see on TV are smiling triumphant faces.

              • The stress of the competition with the Russians was a big part of it.
                But, in preparation for any launch, there were very long workdays and , every time there was a failed launch or failure to orbit, the pressure got worse. According to Dad, there was some finger pointing and assigning blame that went on.


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