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That’s a Lynx in the picture at about 7 months old. Our household domesticated cat named Lynx, that is.
It’s spring, and animals are showing up on game cameras. I’ve always seen facebook discussions of just which species of wild cats are out there. Many people claim to have actually seen cougars when out in the wild. There’s never been a consensus of opinion; persons working in professional wildlife capacities always say these sightings are mistaken identity – maybe bobcats or large dogs – and there are no cougars in Alabama.
Lynx, pictured here during last year’s run on tp; he wants everyone to know that a bobcat actually is a lynx.
In one chapter of Catwoods, I looked into these questions. I cited a paper by an expert in the state whose opinion was, no cougars are present here. Even with the wide range of statements, when I wrote the book I never thought this would turn into a controversy. Don’t serious investigators, or even savvy casual observers, search for, weigh, and consider any and all data? I tried to paint with a broad brush.
That chapter was sparked by an encounter that my husband and I had with an unknown animal in the night. We are two highly observant and thoughtful persons who respect science and I did honestly state our opinions, that there might have been a cougar out there. I relayed experiences of other credible persons in the state who had reported actually seeing a cougar. Gulp! I agreed that this would have been a passerby or escaped captive and that there are no breeding populations. And I didn’t say any of us are infallible. I’ve read online discussions of “What kind of cat was that?” for years but only recently did I see one become sort of heated. Gulp again.
I was striving for scientific accuracy as much as possible in the book, but I also included observational history of my own, and some from others. So that might be called informal and/or anecdotal evidence, as I’m not a biologist. I don’t usually speak in absolutes because there is always more data out there to be added in the future, and, there’s always research, and articles, that I just never encountered when researching for the book. Due to the illness which began before I wrote it, I was not able to get out to go do onsite library research, or to talk to people.
Catwoods is essentially nonfiction, although there are brief breakthroughs of fiction when I “voice” the cats. I had actually seen that done in other nonfiction cat narratives. I did always try to base any statements I invented for the cats on actual cat behaviors known to science.
So y’all, the book is a memoir, mostly about smaller wild felines, the somewhat domesticated kind we call housecats. I present facts and state honest opinions. Readers are welcome to form their own conclusions.
On a lighter note regarding mistaken identity, if you looked across a field one hazy evening and saw that guy in the pictures above . . . Though he doesn’t look quite so lynxie now that he’s older. Getting the book helps us support wraithes, er waifs, like the Lynx kitty above.
And this guy! A moody older picture of Boss:
And, all our other kitties and their feral elders too. I just wanted to do something quick and not post everyone’s pictures this time. I hope the other kitties won’t mind. Gulp!
I’m still using older pictures. We’re still trying to arrange more picture space so I can start using more recent pictures. With multiple items on the to-do list it’s going to take awhile.
Lynx to get the book are at the upper right for Amazon, and on the Order the MUSE Award-winning Catwoods Book online page which goes direct to Borgo Publishing.