Bob the bobcat lives south of Tuscon, Arizona, where the skies shimmer with summer heat. He hangs out near the creek, partly for its coolness and a drink of water, but also because his potential lunch victims have the same idea.
Too late, the rabbit identifies those deadly black stripes on Bob’s legs, his bobbed tail, and the tufts of hair on his ears.
Bob loves a little rabbit lunch. On a lucky day (lucky for the rabbit), he will get away and Bob has to settle for one of the many other creatures that live in the desert.
Did you think the desert was just sand and cactus? Think again. Small animals like lizards, snakes, rabbits and hares, chipmunks, quail, doves, and many more birds, mammals, rodents, reptiles, and insects live there.
Plenty of food for a bobcat. It should be an ideal life, but there are cactus spines to pull out of sore paws, and some insects to beware of. And did I mention rattlesnakes? Or ticks?
One of the local animals that gives bobcats trouble is the coyote. If there are trees around, Bob is probably safe. All he has to do is leap up into a tree and wait until the coyotes get tired.
However, trees are not always handy. Coyotes often travel in small groups and are one of the bobcat’s main enemies.
Like the coyote, Bob has adapted to humans and doesn’t mind lurking at the edge of urban areas. You might not think this pretty creature is dangerous, but if you are a small dog or cat, look out.
Doesn’t Bob look pettable? I’d be tempted to reach out to stroke his soft fur, but I know he is not wanting my attentions. I’m guessing he has sharp claws and teeth.
Still … I would love to have a few tame moments with Bob purring and cuddling up close to me to be petted. Ah, well … that’s not going to happen — not in the real world.
Permission to use these photos has been kindly granted by Trisha Tubbs who took the photos near Quail Creek, Arizona.