That Pesky Bobcat
I've got a bobcat problem. No, I'm not talking about a new Firefox plugin or OS X release, but one of those living, sharp toothed felines that's native to North America. Yes, I admit they are good looking, but they are also a lot of trouble.
For the last few months, every night at around 1 AM, we hear loud feet running across our roof chasing our house cat. We've long suspected it's not an ordinary cat, judging by the loud savage snarling sounds it makes.
Last night, at about that same time, I hear the usual commotion going on (it wakes up the family), and I happen to get the outside lights on while the bobcat is paused in front of the glass door. Because it is so fast, it is a rare occasion to actually get to see the cat up close.
If you are unfamiliar, a bobcat looks a like this (from Wikipedia archive):
except that ours is full grown, almost no spots, and about twice that size. I would estimate he's a meter long and about 30-40 lbs (about 15-20Kg). But, it still has the black tipped tail, the way we distinguish it from the local panthers (mountain lions).
So far, this bobcat has snacked on two of our house cats (and perhaps three as of last night) and eight of our chickens. He likes to kill just about everything of that size, including wild turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, possums, timber rats, etc. Now, you might think of that as an advantage, and to some degree it is, but the problem is this: he doesn't eat the field mice. It only takes a few months before you get overrun with mice -- the reason for the house cats -- which he likes to eat. (Cats eating cats. That just sounds wrong to me.)
He even chased away this friendly peacock (that stopped by to check out REBOL 3.0 progress three weeks ago.)
Last night, I stayed awake thinking about what to do about the bobcat. I finally concluded that I should catch him in a trap and drive him an hour into the distant mountains to let him continue his wild ways. I think catching him should be easy, but releasing him will be more of a challenge. He might be a bit moody and unreasonable from the drive. Also, two years ago I smacked him square in the gut with a brick. It must have hurt, but he just glared at me like I was next on his dinner list. Maybe he'll remember that incident.
If anyone has any other experience or advice about dealing with these animals, please let me know.