Sooooooooo, turns out Nala is, in fact, most likely a Florida Bobcat.
After my last post (Rat in Me Compost – Part 4), I ran into one of my more distant neighbors at the store. (“Distant” refers to the geographical span between our houses, not a description of her personality.) Technically, she’s from the neighborhood you have to drive through to get to my neighborhood (we’ll call it FV). You see, my neighborhood was built first, then years later her neighborhood was added on as a separate neighborhood, then many years later another neighborhood (we’ll call it AL) was added back behind mine. So, my neighborhood is between two other neighborhoods and you have to drive through one of them to get to mine. The reason I’m telling you this is so you’ll understand when I explain our conversation at the store a few weeks ago.
So, I ran into this neighbor at the store and she told me that they (homeowners in FV) had just received an email from their Neighborhood HOA President warning them that there had been 6 sightings of a Florida Bobcat and one of a coyote in the area. Someone(s) had also found the remains of 2 housecats which looked as if they had had run-ins with a predator (they were all assuming that it was the coyote, not the bobcat). She wanted to make sure I knew about this information since she knew we have two small dogs.
To say my jaw hit the floor would be an understatement. I told her about my interaction with Nala and when I finished telling her, she was now the one with the jaw on the floor. She politely suggested my roots might be blonde after realizing I sat about 10 feet away from an alleged bobcat and fed it salmon.
This morning, I ran into this same neighbor at Publix and we caught up on the latest news of the wildlife in the area. She said her lawn guy had seen the bobcat recently, and he described her exactly the way I described Nala.
She also told me about her neighbor who has about 8 pet bunnies. These bunnies are HUGE. We have often driven by as we were leaving the neighborhood and seen this lady sitting on the bench under her trees with her bunnies hopping around the front yard. Super cute scene in the neighborhood, especially around Easter!
Back to the story. So this lady had a little area of her side yard fenced in with a picket fence and would let the bunnies hop around out there for exercise and fresh air.
Do I need to go further? Can you guess what she found one day? Sad, really. But there is a silver lining. On this particular day, she only put two bunnies out in the yard. So she still has the rest of them. And she is keeping them inside her screened patio from now on.
So, apparently Nala has been confirmed as a Florida Bobcat. And it is possible that she has actually attacked domesticated pets (it’s also possible it was the coyote). Which is really, really sad. And scary. And I’m taking that seriously when it comes to my little pups.
But you know what? I haven’t seen any rats or mice since she arrived on the scene. And for that, she just might deserve a small bowl of salmon.