Meet the Bobs
Yesterday I had a cat behavior consultation that was special and well worth blogging about, with the consent of my client, of course.
My client, M, and her husband live in the hills, overlooking Cupertino. The house is lovely, with large windows that overlooked the Bay Area. The view immediately out of the window is of a deck, trees and panoramas of untouched land. All of this beauty and the house is only about 5 minutes above the city.
M and her husband initially contacted me about Chloe, their small Abyssinian cat who, for the past few months had been exhibiting aggression without any obvious provocation. Yesterday was no exception. Throughout most of my visit, Chloe was very agitated, growling, jumpy, pupils constricted and eyes fixated on us. The cat had been to the veterinarian, who had ruled out any medical or neurological reasons for the behavior.
The cause of the extreme aggression was a puzzle. In order to come up with good recommendations, it was important that I identify the triggers. M, her husband and I discussed the possibilities. As we chatted, a slight movement outside the window caught my attention. I watched as a self-assured, juvenile male bobcat nonchalantly wandered up to the window, pressed his nose against the glass and fixed a stare on little Chloe that would send shudders through any self-respecting cat. To top it off, the bobcat licked his mouth... you could see him calculating how to make that little Chloe his evening appetizer.
I didn’t have to look any further for what was triggering Chloe’s aggressive behavior.
According to M, the juvenile bobcat had made an appearance a few weeks ago accompanied by a kitten and a female. I wonder if the little family is denning under the deck. They have everything they need to survive. It’s warm, due to radiant heat from the house and it’s protected from the rain and wind. Also, unknowingly, M has been providing the Bobs free meals since she feeds the birds on the deck. The bird feed, falling out of the feeder attracts cute little chipmunks and other rodents, easy meals for a bobcat.
I am puzzled about why bobcats are coming so close to homes. My experience, until recently, has been that they go out of their way to avoid people and stay far away from our homes. This was my second bobcat sighting within the month. A few weeks ago, at another client, a female bobcat paid a visit, basking in the sun by the pool.