Tracker, the Bobcat

by Matthias Ostrowski, 13 | Feb 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Bobcat stalking
Bobcat. Photo ©

Tracker, the Bobcat, prowled through the woods. Yellow sunlight streamed through bare branches in the forest. Mist stuck to his pelt. Pangs of hunger stung his stomach like a wasp. It was getting to be late February, and he needed food—and another bobcat “friend”.

He kept a sharp eye out for either of these two things. Recently, a fierce bobcat, Scar by name, had driven Tracker from his warm home. Scar was fierce and bold. Many bobcats knew that. Scar would constantly raid other bobcats’ food supplies! Tracker had fought vigorously, but Scar was fast and merciless. And so Tracker needed a new den.

Soon he came to a playful, trickling stream. Tracker took a frigid drink. Then he saw it! A rabbit, large for this chilly time of year, but just what he needed. Multiple times he had come inches from a meal on his journey, but his prey had jumped into thick bushes or holes he couldn’t get into.

This time he was determined to feast. There was tall grass to hide in. But he knew the rabbit might hear him rustling through the wet grass. Tracker moved slowly, silently with his footpads, waiting for the right time to lunge. He must be patient! He neared the edge of the tall grass.

The rabbit’s ears perked up, followed by its brown-gray head. Tracker used his muscular, lynx-like legs to pounce onto the animal and quickly made a meal of it. With a full stomach, Tracker licked his lips.

It was cold, and Tracker needed a den. After looking for the entire afternoon, he found a tall, dead tree stump. It was the perfect den. Cautiously, Tracker sniffed it with his mouth, letting any scents pass over the smelling sensors on the roof. He did not want to accidentally take another bobcat’s den. He’d had enough of fighting for the day! He sniffed some fungus and dry grass, but no scent marker. This would become HIS stump. He marked it as his own, and went out to prowl yet again.

He wasn’t called Tracker for nothing! He had an extraordinary sense of smell for a bobcat, and had inherited their excellent eyesight and hearing. He picked up a scent, followed it for some time, then lost it.

Smelling the crisp air, he found it again. It was the scent he was looking for. It took about an hour, but he found what he was looking for—a female. But he picked up a male scent, too! He ran over, and saw a male bobcat nuzzling “his” mate. Tracker was enraged! He hadn’t spent so much time looking and tracking just for another bobcat to take his mate! Tracker jumped. He raked the tom’s back, but the other bobcat twisted and clawed Tracker off. He looked pretty young—a swift but not too experienced rival.

The other cat lunged, getting in a deep bite on Tracker’s right ribs. Tracker heaved the young cat with his jaws and fell on top of him. With the sky red and purple, and the clouds golden and heavy, they tussled. Tracker threw the tom to the ground. The other cat wasn’t fast enough! Tracker raked his claws along the soft, exposed belly of his enemy. The young tom sprawled away, hissing in defeat. Tracker had won!

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