Living out in the wild of the desert is probably what provides me with the most appreciation for my life’s circumstances. I was living on the coast in Encinitas, California, and the change from coastal to arid desert was extreme. I love wildlife and nature and the quiet solitude of the desert, and for this alone I am most grateful. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t witness some event or see an animal living out its existence independent of humanity, doing what it takes to stay alive. It is a harsh environment and not befitting for the faint of heart. It is still wild out here and the top predators have stood their ground and refused to be pushed out any farther.
Last evening at dusk, I just happened to, at the spur of the moment, pick Callie up from outside as she was sitting alongside the verbena and insist she come inside. She let out a squawk of protest but I was tired of keeping an eye on her and wanted to make dinner. We have been giving her just a little more freedom, but every five minutes or so I would check on her to make sure she stayed close to the house. It may sound neurotic and overbearing to many people, but I love this cat and she is my muse, and to discover her missing, or worse, watch her being hauled away by a coyote, would break my heart.
After I brought her inside, not more than a few minutes had passed, when a 40 pound, sleek and well-oiled bobcat, sailed over the fence and strutted across the yard like he owned the place. We were sitting inside watching basketball and I was in awe of his lubricated joints and large size and pointed him out to Michael. Michael, on the other hand, rather than be impressed, jumped into action and said to me that he didn’t want this cat feeling welcome. He threw open the door and ran outside barefoot to save the day and chase the bobcat away.
The bobcat startled slightly, jumped up on the wall with the greatest of ease, looked back at Michael, rather annoyed and with an expression of, who gives a damn. Michael had to charge him and throw fistfuls of sand and a rock at him before he sauntered off without so much as a backward glance. He was not at all intimidated about Michael being a threat to him, and if anything, he was irritated. They made eye contact and stared each other down before he walked off slowly and with as much attitude that only a feline can have. Can you imagine a 140 pound mountain lion staring back at you? Maybe I would run if a cougar attacked me! Michael even took it one step further and went out into the desert to continue confronting the bobcat. Suffice it to say, there wasn’t time to take a photograph and I was just so grateful that I had brought her in.
I don’t know if the cat was watching us before I brought Callie inside, but I can tell you, the image of him streaking across the yard at blinding speed and snatching Callie up in his jaws was very unnerving. I have always been concerned about coyotes, but this was a whole other beast to worry about. She wouldn’t stand a chance in hell with a predator like that. He would climb right up the olive tree in pursuit of her and she wouldn’t have much to say in her defense; I shudder at the thought.
I thought it was very impressive to see this cat in my yard, but Michael on the other hand did the right thing by making his presence unwelcome. Callie will have to tolerate us being a little more attentive again. She may not know what is best for her in order to stay alive out here in the wilderness, but we sure do.