Black Bobcat

As I have mentioned, I now live in the boonies.  It ain’t the wilderness, but you can see the wilderness from here.  This means deer are plentiful, bears are common, as well as snakes, cougars, and bobcats.  Most of the residents in the area are familiar with the wildlife, but to me it’s still a novelty.

There’s a tree on my property under which cell phone reception is always perfect.  It’s a few hundred yards from the house.  When the weather is chilly I’ll drive but if the sun is shining and the air is warm I usually walk over and stand or sit under the tree while I communicate with the world via cell.  Yesterday was be-you-tee-full, and I had a couple calls to make so I threw on some shorts and flip-flops and hiked to The Phone Tree.

I was standing under the tree for roughly fifteen minutes, chatting away when something happened that could only be properly retold with the help of the highly sophisticated computer program, MS Paint.

You can see the phone tree there in the center.  I was sipping on a cup of coffee, chatting on the phone.  Our dog Bailey and cat Popcorn had accompanied me on my walk.  Bailey is getting old and is always tired, so she was napping on the hillside (the hillside begins with the fancy brown line and is pretty steep).  Popcorn was chasing bugs around under the tree.

Sometime during the phonecall a bobcat began to stalk Popcorn.  In general, bobcats won’t attack humans, which I why I assume it was the kitten and not myself it was after.  I saw it running, for a nanosecond I thought it was the dog as it was just about the same size and completely black in color.  After that mistaken moment I realized it was a cat, and it was moving so fast.  I am going to emphisize the moment I realized it was a wild cat at this time.

THERE WAS A DOG SIZED ALL BLACK CAT RUNNING SOOOOOO FAST HEADING RIGHT FOR MY KITTEN!

The most remarkable thing to me at that moment was the speed at which the cat was moving.  It was so close to the ground as it ran and clearly trying to catch breakfast.  Now, I found out later after talking with a wildlife biologist that if a cat is running towards you the worst thing to do is run.  Whoops.  You’re supposed to stand your ground and make yourself as tall as possible and scream and yell at it to scare it off.  I did scream and yell and thankfully there were no children around to hear the foul words I was hollering at the person I was still having a conversation with on the phone.  But as I was yelling I was running, swinging my arms and spilling my lovely morning coffee all over my bare legs.

After I reached the house I remembered the kitten was still by the tree and I drove my car back to get her.  She was on a low branch of the tree clearly spooked from the encounter. Popcorn hopped onto the car, I rolled my window down and she climbed inside.

After I drove home I googled “black wild cat”  I googled “black cougar”  I googled “black bobcat” and I found what I was looking for.

A bobcat sighting is just another day here.   But bobcats are tannish in color with dark spots. What I saw was a large wild cat that was 100% black.  I found a website on the topic where I learned that the technical term for the rare animal is melanistic bobcat.  Only about a dozen of the animals have ever been captured.

So, now I have a quest.  If I don’t find this animal again and take it’s picture, or better yet trap it, I cannot prove to anyone what I saw.  The biologist I spoke with told me that every description I had of the cat pointed to the fact it was indeed a black bobcat, but I am sure in their mind they believe there is a chance I was mistaken.  Together, we went back to the site looking for tracks and found one that was the size and shape of a wild cat’s, so that helped the credibility of my story some.

And while I am certainly frightful of another meeting with the large feline, if I see it again I am determined to prove to the world that I saw a black bobcat–or at least to a few science geeks in the area.

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About kristiane

killing spiders with my laser eyes.
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30 Responses to Black Bobcat

  1. Jeff says:

    that sounds scary, glad you and the cat are OK!

  2. M says:

    Wow, great encounter. You, yourself, have nothing to fear from a Bobcat. Just enjoy the sighting next time you see it. Your kitten on the other hand might need a hand. Though, after an experience like that one, I’m sure it’s learned somewhat of a lesson in awareness.

  3. ANGELA SIMPSON says:

    I saw a large black cat last night in my back yard; it was the size of a large dog. My boyfriend keep telling me that- ohh… it was just a cat ;but believe me I don’t care what he say; it was not a normal yard cat!

  4. Gran says:

    you are not crazy, and don’t let anyone tell you that…..I live in southwest Louisiana in a very rural wooded area, and in late spring 2010, I was outside with my yorkie and this very large black/greyish cat comes running out of the bushes chasing a rabbit. I have a golden retriver and it was as large as he is, it had a very short tail. When I told my husband and family this, they said I was crazy, bobcat are not black. But I have finally found different to the contray. They do have black bobcats, and there is one is southwest Louisiana……. your drawing was great!!!!!! :)

  5. Emily says:

    Hi there, I just moved into the boonies as well, in NY State, and the first morning I looked out the window on our second floor into the 20 acres of woods behind the house, and I saw a large, dog sized pure black cat with a bushy face and a bushy tail, only the face was white. I’m not sure if it was a lynx or a bobcat but its hard to find information on any black wild cat! Nice to hear your story as well :o)

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in New Caney, Texas. This morning I looked out my window and saw a large black cat sitting on our waterfall that overlooks our small lake. He was crouched looking into the water, I don’t know if he was looking at the fish swimming around or if he was looking at his reflection. I watched for a minute or so. Then he stood up and walked to the top of the waterfall, he had a bobbed tail and large hind quarters that stood higher than the front legs, had a very distinct walk. I walked out on the porch and he stoped turned and looked at me with these fiery piercing yellow eyes, looked as if a light was glowing behind them. He was not at all frightned by me, he stood there for a minute or so and watched me then slowly walked off waterfall and into the woods. I called my husband and told him I saw what appeared to be a bobcat but was black. He told me to look online and there I found your story. I know what I saw and it was a black bobcat with bright yellow eyes. It feel blessed to have seen something so rare and so beautiful!

  6. 1234567890poiuytrewqasdfghjklmnbvcxz says:

    I love your drawing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

  7. Stephanie says:

    My in-laws have a cabin in Missouri, and recently a farmer and my in laws have seen a black bobcat hanging around. I found this page by googling black bobcat right after she told me what she saw. This is the first time I’ve heard of a few different people seeing a black bobcat in the same area on different occassions. Interesting.

  8. Zach says:

    I live in little town of Gold Hill Oregon and me and my neighbor keep seeing something black about the size of a Bobcat, completely black, it’s but is sort of towards the ground, the head is kind of high in the air and the weirdest thing is the go into town at night in packs of anywhere from 4 to 8 do you know what it is.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have seen two now and I am thinking from the previous post that perhaphs they may be a new species emerging as i live in noth west oregon wich is far north of what all the info say about where you are supposed to find these critters. I had a picture that I had snapped with my cell phone while one was snacking on some road kill in the ditch and i could see some faint dark spots sort of like a leapord but a very dark brown fur

  10. Anonymous says:

    At about 10 am on 8/27/11, I was driving north on Oregon Coast 101 highway, through Oswald West State Park. Both my husband and I saw a jet black animal with a lithe form, approx 25-30 lbs, quite angular looking in shoulder and hip. I only saw the head in profile and it was an arched profile. I didn’t see any tail at all. It was crouched beside the road then turned and leaped up unto a log and moved into the big trees there.

  11. david says:

    We have come to the also, an also have googled lots, an I can see how no one can believe this, but we have saw this also. We live in lebanon or. An our property also bored the trees

  12. Alissa says:

    I don’t think your crazy @ All! My mom and I just seen one ourselfs. They are so hard to describe and ppl just think your nuts. I googled and seen your pic and wa la that is what I just seen! Your story helped solidify it. Ty!

  13. Anonymous says:

    On Jan. 5, 2012 around 11 am, I was walking my dog in a natural preserve, I saw one too. I live in Central Florida.

  14. Peter says:

    Hey i was just sitting on the couch minding my business at around midnight today. I heard a very low pitched loud growling noise outside in my backyard.knowing that my other cat was attacked by something also i sprinted out and yelled at it as loud as i could. It was on top of my black cat, but exactly the same color. As i was screeming it looked at me and i got acared shitless. This thing was 40 pounds or more and just lean and muscular. Its head was probably three times the size of my cats. It ran off and my cat did too, they ran in the same direcrion but thos thing was like a bullet. After the attack i kept wondering what looks like that and isbin Washington state. I googked bobcat and thoughtvmaybe there was a black one, i saw the picture of the cat that you have and knew immediately that was it. This thing has been killing neighborhood cats and racoons even…. It is ery scary but i am going to try to trap ot tomorrow. I am super excited to know what this thing is, i hope some studies could be done on this cat so i could know more. I DO NOT want this thing to be killed jist studied. It is a truly amazing thing to see and i am still horofied by it…

  15. James Jordan says:

    I live in southeast Texas and on a camping trip with a buddy and my son we had a show put on by a horse and a large black cat. The cat chased this horse like he intended on making him dinner. To make a long story short I want to know if a cougar would be in our area and if it would actually attack a horse. For the record I gad been drinking but no drugs were involved haha,seriously though my kids play in the woods a lot and it bothers me that something that large is in our woods

  16. M.A.McKinney says:

    Hello from the North Jersey woods. Caught this guy on my a trail cam set up by our driveway. Picture is blurry as the cat is moving, but looks like could be a black bobcat to me.

  17. Anonymous says:

    my mom and i saw one of these today in my yard – except mine had a white/gray face and i also didn’t get a pic but what a sight ! Now to keep an eye on my poodle when we go out side ! Thanks for the proof that we’re not the only one who saw one ! =)

  18. James Kenworthy says:

    I live in southeast Pennsylvania and was camping with my wife just this past weekend in Little Buffalo State Park. Its only about 50 miles north of our home. Saturday morning after breakfast we headed out for a hike on a trail in the park we had not hiked before. We had gone about a mile with Tucker our Cavalier King Charles leading the way when suddenly a large solid black animal stepped out onto the trail about 50 yards ahead of us. I grabbed my wife’s arm and we both froze trying to make sense of what we were looking at. I have been hunting my entire life and at 58 I thought I had seen every animal this state had to show me but I was clearly looking at an animal I had never seen before. I tried to make it into a black fox but no it wasn’t. I tried to make it into a black dog but it wasn’t one. It clearly wasn’t a bear and I even imagined I was looking at an enormous black feral cat but it was at least twice the height of my Cavalier and I would estimate its weight at between 40 and 50 pounds.
    I was looking at a small panther but there are no panthers in Pa. It appeared to be focused on our dog and not on us as it just stood its ground at the edge of the trail. Realizing this I yelled at Tucker in an attempt to get him on a leash. I yelled several times before he turned to come back and this was enough to scare the cat off. It wasn’t until later that afternoon when my brother’s girlfriend googled black Bobcats that I realized exactly what my wife and I had seen. I am just glad
    I had my wife for a witness. We both feel it was an amazing creature to spot in the wild.

  19. We have one of these hanging around our farm shop.My sister and her husband and family have seen it 3 or 4 times recently!!

  20. We have one of these hanging around our farm shop.My sister and her husband and family have seen it 3 or 4 times recently!! May see if we can get a pic.We have property in the oregon coast range.Also have a nice heard of elk.Black bear deer,A cougar that hangs out there to!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I saw one in southeastern Alabama, it crossed in front of my car. A few weeks later my husband and his cousin saw it! We are going to get it on a game camera.

  22. Premsagar says:

    Well, I live in India and my dad told me yesterday of some black dog-sized cat that lived on the roof of his house when he was in South India in approx. 1979 when he was probably 16 years old. I searched ‘black lynx’ on Google images and saw the picture of a black bobcat and showed it to him and he was surprised. He had never known what kind of cat it was so he told me to seek out information so i found this page. Well on the contrary, on further questioning he said that there were 6-7 black bobcats which used to live on his roof!! On reading on another page that these species are endangered (i’m not sure, but if they are) then they could easily find more in South India! Thanks..

  23. Pismopal says:

    I believe I saw a malanistic bobcat today crossing a fire road in southern california south of hwy 166. Feral cats would last about 3 minutes here…to big to be a feral cat and bobcat was all it could be….still amazed.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous says. yes ther are black bobcats in central fl. Isaw one last year and my son said it was a panther then he say it and it was a black panther. haven’t seen it since.

  25. M Beaudoin says:

    We saw one today driving out of Ashland,Or on Dead Indian Memorial Road. It looked just like a bobcat but it was black. A mama deer was chasing it across the road. We have plenty of bobcats around,but I have never seen a black one or knew if they even existed.
    We were trying to figure out what we all saw.

  26. bill williams says:

    Go back in time to 1998. I was visiting Dickinson in North Dakota and visiting a nature reserve there, though my normal residence is in the UK. I was recovering – perhaps not recovering is more accurate – from a stroke, which had meant I could only walk with difficulty and very slowly. We were in the car park with windows lowered when I was alerted by a bird’s very persistent alarm call and went to investigate on my own. The bird was calling from a chain link fence around 7ft high dividing the reserve from countryside. At the opposite side of the fence was a large, black cat much bigger than a domestic cat carefully picking its way back to the nearby trees until it was lost in trees. I remember it had a broad darker stripe along its back, almost like it had been ironed. I’m now completely inactive since a further stroke and will never get to North Dakota again, or anywhere else for that matter, but I did know I’d seen something special. Of course people thought I was seeing things, but your reports convince me after all these years.

  27. dkeith says:

    This evening I saw an animal that at first glance looked like a black dog. The animal was walking slowly along the side of my neighbor’s house towards the rear of the house. He/she stopped for a few seconds looking toward me, then went around the back of the house. The more I looked, the more I realized this was not a dog, but a large cat. Being from FL and now in AZ, I have seen bobcats before as they do come into well-populated neighborhoods. I have heard that many wild cats will migrate from Texas and other states to AZ. After researching this, I am sure this was a black bobcat.

  28. Katie says:

    I saw one of these all black wild cats while enjoying a bike ride (my 5 month old baby in the bike/baby seat) at Haile Plantation neighborhood in Gainesville Florida in 1992. It is now almost 2015, and I remember the moment like it was yesterday. He was in the bike path ahead of me…I stopped dead in my tracks and froze…he stopped crouched down and stared me squarely in the eyes…it terrified me…and I am a lover of animals of all kinds and usually not afraid….he did not make a move… After a moment or two I turned the bike around and rode away as fast as I could….not looking back…we were safe. My story didn’t seem believable to anyone…and I also questioned myself….but, I know what I saw. It was a 40ish pound all black wild cat.

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