Yesterday I walked out the back door and saw movement off to my left. When I turned my head, I caught the figures of two animals diving down behind my retaining wall. One seemed to be attacking the other. All I could see clearly was a lush, reddish coat and pointy ears. I thought it might be a fox, but foxes are fairly shy and I've never seen one this close to my house. I've only seen them out in the desert.
The prey broke free from the predator, and they both jumped up over the wall and disappeared into a bush. I was still struggling to comprehend what I was seeing. I waited, and then a bobcat walked around the bush toward me and sat down about ten feet in front of me. It looked at me with those gorgeous cat eyes while gently waving it's tail beside it. I talked to it, and it listened, looking at me with curiosity. I was fascinated that it wasn't afraid of me. It acted, well, just like a house cat. I slowly reached for my mobile phone, and when I looked down to locate the camera app, the bobcat slinked around the corner of the house, so I was not able to get a picture.
My husband said that it was probably waiting for me to look away before it made its escape. Then last night I saw a TV show on the life of cats, in which cat behavior is studied by attaching a camera and GPS device to the collars of house cats. They did say something about cats being territorial and locking stares until the other animal looks away. I had house cats while growing up, but then developed a righteous allergy to their dander, so now I have to avoid cats and homes that house cats or I'll end up sneezing non-stop with a horrible headache.
I looked for evidence of what kind of prey it was after, and found a lone feather. Seeing the bobcat was just one more reminder of what a magical place I live in. I've been feeling bummed that I haven't seen a Gila Monster in over a year, but seeing a bobcat three times in the past few months makes up for it. I don't know if the bobcat is male or female, but I decided to call it Betsy.
There was a nice breeze, so I took Rock out for a quick walk around the bridle trails to work on his leading skills. He still needs to improve on not crowding me and not wiping his nose on my shirt, but he was super good about slowing down to my pace when I shook the lead rope. It's actually really good that he had a little pep in his step. Usually, he drags behind. I wish I had found the breeze sooner so that I had the time to ride him, but the sun was setting and everyone was waiting to be fed.
Just a quick story about medical care hell. I had asked my doctor to refer me to a different imaging facility, since everyone at the one I'd been using is incompetent. I've suffered through everything from receptionists forgetting that I was on the line and hanging up on me to doctors getting my x-rays mixed up with someone else's. Almost every other time I go in, either their computers are down or their imaging machines are broken, and they have to reschedule. I hate the place with a passion.
So, my doctor gave me a referral to a different facility. I called them only to find out that they closed the location closest to my town. I would have to drive into a high traffic area in the city. I really didn't want to do that, especially with traffic being on the increase, so I bit the bullet and decided to schedule my appointments with my old imaging place. I was on hold for 15 minutes after being told that I was caller number two in the queue. A receptionist picked up and said, "Can you hold just one quick moment please?" and she put me on hold before I could respond. I waited another 5 minutes and then she hung up on me.
I was so angry, because this has to be the third or fourth time they've done this to me. There was no way I was going to call back and be put on hold for that long again, so I contemplated calling my doctor and cancelling the surgery. My experience is that when things don't get off to a good start, they just keep getting worse. I've actually seen patients drive to the facility in person to complain that they'd been calling, trying to set up an appointment, and couldn't get through, so they came in person to do it. The receptionists then explained that they don't schedule appointments in the office, and the patient has no choice but to call centralized scheduling. That's how bad this place can be.
Anyway, once I cooled down and started thinking things through, I did my own research and found one other imaging facility near me, but it turned out that they didn't have the right machines that I needed. I tried one more time to get through to centralized scheduling at my old facility, and this time someone actually picked up and worked with me after I had been on hold for 5 minutes. The lady sounded like she was done and wanted to quit her job, but her mood improved after we talked, and she was nice to me. I suspect they've got patients yelling at them all the time. When I go in, I'm planning on talking with everyone who will listen about the various issues I've been dealing with concerning their facility, but I'm going to do it in a calm, friendly, non-emotional manner so that they will more likely listen and act upon my suggestions. I'm continually seeing evidence of how I have influenced other people without even realizing it, so I know I have the power to change things for the better. Improving service at this imaging facility is going to be my new mission, especially since I'm stuck with them.
Since I don't have a recent picture of the bobcat, I'll show you a picture of a pretty bird, minus its face. It wouldn't look in my direction. Wildlife doesn't always cooperate.