Lynx and Bobcat
I grew up in a fairly secluded, heavily wooded area. One of the best ways to explore the wilderness was on horseback. I admit that I would NOT have seen either of these beautiful cats if my horse had not reacted first. My encounter with a Lynx was one of the most beautiful, tranquil encounters of my life. I was riding one warm winter day and out of the bushes, on top of a snowy bank, emerged the most majestic grey faced cat I had ever seen. It was perfectly still, allowing me a long time to gaze at it (much to my horses’ displeasure). It slowly made its way out of the bushes and crossed the game path I was riding on, silently disappearing into the bushes.
My encounter with the Bobcat is similar but occurred in the summer. I was riding on a cut trail lost in thought when suddenly my horse jumped to the side and snorted. The Bobcat spotted my horse but did not seem to notice me. I knew it was a bobcat by its colouring, brown and it has a face more akin to the domestic cat. Bobcat colouring is vastly different from the Lynx. The Lynx has a grey/light face with slanted eyes. The bobcat has tabby markings, darker brown and large feline eyes.
I have recorded a podcast on Lynx, so I will not repeat the information I said there. The next podcast will be on bobcats. Please listen to my mental meanderings on both those beautiful creatures. I don’t recall a time in my life when I did not admire and love Big Cats. They are beautiful creatures of mystique and lore.
I think of the Canadian Lynx as a Ghostcat; recognizing that is a name often given to the Cougar. However, the colour of this Lynx lets my mind wander to the Betwixt and the Between, the magical place. I associate them with tracking, intuitive skills, keen listeners, cautious, observant, assured, skilled predator and survivor. They lure me in, make me curious and encourage me to be wilder.
There are three different Lynx; Canadian Lynx, Iberian Lynx and the Eurasian Lynx. The Iberian Lynx is found in Southern Europe in the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal. They are the most endangered feline species. The WWF reports there are just over 400 alive today, at one point they numbered just above 100. If the Iberian Lynx were to have gone extinct it would have been the first feline species extinction for over 10,000 years.
The Eurasian Lynx is the largest of all and very beautiful. Confession time: I like to watch Dr K’s Exotic Animal ER. On one episode owners of a Eurasian Lynx brought him in because he was excessively licking. I was in awe and deeply saddened. The people who owned him did not consider the fact this Lynx has the widest range of any other cat species, globally. The lynx is a highly intelligent being and would need so much stimulation to remain cooped up in a house. As you may have guessed, he licked out of boredom and anxiety. The owners did not open the follow-up email Dr K had sent, the content of which apparently were techniques and tools to enhance and Enrich this beautiful creatures life. The owners returned for a second visit due to being internally impacted with its own hair. The lynx clearly needed the owners eyes to be, even remotely, as open as his. He also clearly needed owners who could read behaviour and interpret needs, like any good tracker. The vet tech who was assigned to hold his head while he woke from surgery was terrified. Written on his body, in his face, was the instinctual need to RUN — RUN NOW. I would have traded places with him in a cat blink.
Lynx are beautiful creatures who have filled our mythologies, worldwide. It has impacted our idea of intuition. It has impacted the social psyche with its silence and ghost-like moves. The Lynx has imprinted itself onto our mortal souls. Enjoy the hunt ;)
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Originally published at Shamans Way.