How might you react if you noticed a cat hanging out on your deck, almost opened the door and let it in–and suddenly discovered this unexpected visitor was a bobcat?
My husband told me this adventure after hearing it from his fishing buddy, Nancy, last weekend at the annual Otter Lake Ice Fishing Derby.
He then wrote up the following story for the L’Anse Sentinel, our local weekly newspaper, where he’s editor.
I begged for the story, knowing you readers would also enjoy it.
Without further ado, here’s the bobcat story. Thanks, Barry. You’re a good sport to share.
Helen and Jim Lepola of Watton thought they had a stray or lost house cat hanging out on their deck last week. They spread the word in the neighborhood but nobody seemed to be missing their kitty.
Mail-lady and next door neighbor Nancy Besonen stopped to deliver a package, and in neighborly fashion, was invited in for coffee.
“I looked at it, and the cat had kind of pointy ears. . .you know where this is going, don’t you?” Besonen explained. “Then it turned around and I saw it from the back. It had half a tail!”
Yes, it appears that the friendly feline on Lepola’s deck with the hankering for bird food suet is a bobcat.
“We had a cat that looked identical to it, only a little smaller,” Helen explained. “This one wanted to come in the house. I don’t know what we would have done with a bobcat in the house!”
When they thought “Stripey” was a local house cat the Lepolas put out a borrowed cat carrier and placed a towel in it. The bobcat has dragged the towel off under a nearby building where it sleeps.
“He was still here tonight,” Helen explained Monday night, Jan. 13, 2014. “He sat on the railing this afternoon.”
The Lepolas called the Michigan DNR. They were told the DNR could live-trap the cat but could only release it on the Lepola’s property. They are now working with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department. KBNRD has told them it could live-trap the curious cat and release it elsewhere.
“I don’t know if he has some problem and has lost his wildness,” Helen Lepola said. “It’s kind of strange to have a bobcat so close. He looks in the window.”
The unusual visitor is garnering international attention.
“Nancy took pictures and I even sent one to Finland. . .they’ve already responded!” Helen noted.
Kathy’s Post Script: Some of you commenters are already wondering if the bobcat might be someone’s house pet. This is a possibility, but unlikely. Bobcats, in the wild, are shy creatures and generally avoid humans. Here is an article which discusses the question What are the dangers of bobcats to humans?
As for the dangers of humans to bobcats, I’m sure there are many…
I’ve only seen two bobcats in the past 35 years of living in the Upper Peninsula. Both ran in front of the car in the twilight.