I have to preface this story by telling you that my father-in-law passed away on Thursday. He suffered a stroke and pneumonia a few weeks ago and his health just went down and down until he just couldn't recover. My father-in-law, until the last few years, had loved to do nothing more than fish. He competed in a bunch of bass tournaments all over the country (and did pretty well in some) and he also fished for sport along the local rivers. T has plenty of stories about the infamous fishing trips they would take throughout his childhood and teen years.
The funeral is tomorrow and it occured to us that it would be very nice for him to be able to take a piece of something he loved so much with him. So T and I drove down to one of his favorite fishing spots and gathered some river rocks to place with him. The stones were smooth from being washed in the river for years. They were stones that he would have parked over many, many times. It was appropriate, I thought.
In order to get to the fishing hole, we had to park and walk a bit. It wasn't a secret place, as you can see by the footprints we found along the bank.
There are a lot of different footprints here. Human. Dog. Some smaller animals like raccoons. You can tell this dog is about 40 pounds or so, by the depth of the print in the mud. Then, I noticed these prints, overtop some of the dog and human prints:
That's not dog. It's bigger than the dog, and heavier. It looks like a cat. A very large cat.
You can see that this cat seemed to come from the side, find the dog and human prints, follow them a bit down to the edge of the water, circle a little, then leave, continuing on its path.
T said this was a bobcat. He said there had been a few bobcat sightings along this river and that he and his dad had even seen one. I called bullshit and looked it up on my phone. Although this shows claw prints (and cat tracks usually don't show claw prints), this looks exactly
like a bobcat print.
We gathered our stones and left without seeing any other sign of a bobcat, though. But that makes sense, since they tend to stay out of sight. I just kept thinking how interested my FIL would have been to hear about this.