Last night, Chad came in the back door excitedly telling me there was a huge animal that had walked through our back yard into the nieghbor's yard. The last time he saw a "huge animal," he claimed it was a bear. No, insisted it was a bear, even though I was pretty clear about where bears live, which isn't in little towns in Iowa. Not even towns as little as ours. The last time, it was just a raccoon, and we've become pretty acquainted with them since then.
So, wondering which neighbor's dog had escaped, I took a flashlight and went out back. Nothing in our yard. Nothing in the neighbor's either. We walked around the front of the neighbors tall wooden fence and there around the corner was an animal alright. Its eyes were reflecting the light from the flashlight, but that's all I could see of it. I looked at it. It looked at me. We stood like that for a long time until I finally sent Chad in for the big Maglite. I'd probably been standing there, 20 feet from this thing for 5 minutes by the time we got a good light on him. And it wasn't a neighbor's dog.
It was a bobcat.
I backed up a bit, but not far. It was really exciting and the kids were crowding in behind me to get a better look. While bobcats aren't outwardly aggressive, I didn't want to give it any reason to feel threatened. After a few minutes, it finally got bored and walked away. I'm going to keep an eye out for it the next couple of nights. I'm hoping I can get a picture!