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Friday, April 29, 2016



     Dateline: Somers, NY- It was all over the local news: two bobcats spotted in Granite Springs. Actually, if they were spotted, they were probably leopards. But there they were, standing in somebody's yard, not "Photoshopped," except maybe a little touch-up around the thigh gap. Should we be frightened? Should we be taking some sort of action? Should Trump build a wall to keep them out?

     The answer is that rarely, throughout history, have we as a people had cause to be afraid of anything named "Bob." I've had a catload of cats over the years, by the name of Gooey, Pookie, Crusty, Bitey and Porkchop  I never thought to call a cat Bob, but I'll certainly give it some thought. The article didn't say if the bobcat was a tomcat.

     I've owned four cats at one time, and actually, the proper term for that is a "clowder" of cats. Don't confuse it with a "chowder" of New England clams or you'll overpay at the restaurant. I once went to a meeting of the B.P.W.N.G.A.I.T.N.A.R., or the Board of People Who Name Groups of Animals Indiscriminate Things for No Apparent Reason, and I found their process very interesting. It went like this:
"I move that we heretofore refer to a group of ferrets as a 'fesnyng.'"
"And what is the reason for that?"
"No reason, other than the obvious."
"Okay, well, it sounds good to us."
I was escorted out by security when I tried to suggest that a group of gnus be called a "newspaperful."

     Anyway, as a public service, I've done a little research on the lynx rufus, which is Latin for "bobcat." I took Latin in middle school, erroneously thinking that it might help my salsa dancing, so I am qualified to use the official terminology. Is the bobcat dangerous? Absolutely- I'm allergic to cats. If one of these things gets cat hairs all over me I'm going to sneeze 20 times in a row.

     I read that the bobcat prefers to eat bunnies, and so do I (reminder: Easter is coming up). In the absence of other food sources, they will hunt insects. Do you really need to hunt for insects? You could just come over to our house and leave the door open for five minutes. And that's just to let some of the insects OUT who are tired of the overcrowding.

     We have a great selection: three sizes of ants. Spiders, you can order with hairy legs or without. Stink bugs of course, which we are trying to re-brand as a litter-box freshener. We have silverfish, which cover more than one food category I guess. Any bobcat who wants to come over to "hunt" bugs is welcome, and we will include your choice of soup or salad.

     My research did not turn up any information on who named the cat "Bob" in the first place, but it was probably a caveman's wife.
"You know who that thing looks like, with those weird whiskers that stick out the side? Your Uncle Bob. The one who could never hold a job."
"What do you mean he can't hold a job? My Uncle Bob is a workaholic!"
"Yeah, meaning he always showed up to work drunk."
Sometimes it seems like we haven't evolved that much at all. By the way, if you do chance upon a "clowder" of cats, it is probably due to a "plethora" of tunafish sandwiches. 

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