I sat straight up in bed in fear of my life. It was the middle of the night and something had just woken me up. I had just heard a woman scream – loudly. The thing is…..I lived alone at the time, in a wooded area with no close neighbors. Who in the world could have screamed?
I was afraid to get out of bed. But, I had a big dog that slept in his bed beside me. Murphy, an old shepherd/collie mix who I had rescued. Murphy was fiercely loyal to me and he was not a dog that you took lightly. There was no way to know what had happened to Murphy in the eight years of his life before I rescued him, but it wasn’t good. He came to me aggressive and a fear-biter. He hated men but would make up to women. Most of all, he loved me. He seemed to know I had saved him.
When I heard the scream, so, of course, did Murphy. He jumped up and immediately went to the door, about to tear it down. He wanted out. Murphy had guard instincts but mostly he was all about protecting me. My first thought was to keep him inside. I didn’t know what was going on. I was afraid someone was outside trying to break into my house. I was still half asleep. I couldn’t explain the scream.
Murphy overruled me. He showed no cowardice. Most dogs know no cowardice. Their instincts are to protect hearth, home, and master or mistress. I opened the door and let him out. Against my better judgement. In the dark, he took off in one particular direction, through the dark of my large backyard.
I had a dusk to dawn light in the backyard so it was somewhat lit up in one spot. It was heavily wooded as well. Murphy ran toward the spot that was somewhat lit up. That’s when I saw it. The bobcat. It was sitting on the lowest branch of a tree looking down. Murphy was running right for it.
Bobcats are more common in North America than we know. They are elusive. They stay hidden in the day and roam and hunt at night. They are carnivores and can kill prey much larger than they are, though they usually eat smaller animals such as rabbits, mice, and squirrels. They can be as large as 30 pounds. They are also called wildcats and are the most common of all of the big cats in North America. Since they are so elusive, most of us would be surprised to know that there are as many as one million bobcats in the U.S. alone.
But, the calling card of the bobcat is its scream. It sounds like a woman screaming. I remembered that when I saw the cat sitting in the tree with my dog running toward it.
I didn’t really think the cat would attack my dog. It was in a tree and would not feel particularly threatened. But, I had just been awakened in the middle of the night and was not thinking particularly straight. I started screaming for Murphy to come inside. Murphy as obedient. He stopped, looked around…..I don’t think he ever saw the bobcat but his nose was in the air and he smelled it. I’m confident if that bobcat had been on the ground he would have taken it on, thinking he was protecting me.
Dogs are really amazing creatures. They show only bravery under the most difficult of circumstances and no cowardice. They are man’s best friend. We should always treat them as such. #amwriting #writing #blogging #dogs #kyfishwildlife #dailyprompt