Videos of a white bobcat lounging on a patio sofa were posted to on Next Door. They* look to have a pretty rounded tummy and I wondered if they may be pregnant? The original poster gave me permission to share them freely. I don’t have time at the moment to upload screen capture videos to YouTube, but here are some still photos, in the meantime.
*is “they” an acceptable pronoun usage now when gender is not known? I find this a bit confusing, but I see it in print all the time for non-binary gender.
It is to my understanding that “they” has always been used as a pronoun when gender is not known. As far as animals go, most just tend to use “it”. You could always argue that animals aren’t deserving of being called “it”, but that’s a whole different discussion.
As far as the question at hand goes, it just looks well-fed to me.
Some people use “he” or “she” when an animal’s sex isn’t known, some use “they”, some use “it”. Animals don’t have genders, just sexes, so IMO any pronoun works.
“They” has been in use to mean singular non-gender-specific since at least 1860 (as in, “someone lost their coat, I hope they find it again”), and is now being used much more often for either a person whose gender isn’t known, or for a person whose gender doesn’t fit “he” or “she”.
As to the cat, what part of the world are you in? Seems late in the year for a pregnant cat.
I’m not sure this angle will give much of an idea whether this kitty is pregnant or not. One easy thing to do would be to check other camera footage; if it has testicles, this is not a pregnant cat. If no testicles, it’s still up in the air.
I’m not a mammal expert (at all), but my understanding of Lynx is that their uhm, reproductive parts, are rather small and hard to see. Last year a couple of us were putting together documentation for a Canada Lynx and the vet we were talking to told us that.
If someone knows otherwise please let me know.
I will probably post the videos to YouTube in a couple of days. They are so very enchanting - seeing this “girl” (maybe) lounging, washing, scratching, and generally looking very satisfied with life.
This is in the SF Bay Area, where the winters are relatively mild. But, I do not know if the local gestation timing is that different - maybe?
I’ve read that most bobcat kittens in California are born March-June but that some are born all year round. I’ve seen lots of bobcats on our trail cameras that look big-bellied any time of year. I would guess it is just a very full belly after a kill.
Some animals do have genders – the species where males and females have different social roles.
That’s getting into a philosophical mess that’s impossible to definitively answer, since we can’t ask the animal about its experience. It has the potential to be really interesting, but it’s not a discussion I care to have, since it’s a complicated mess with no clear answer. Either way, animals don’t care what pronouns you use for them.
What a cutie. And what a priviledge to have such a creature in ones backyard enjoying the sunshine.
I love how cats behave just like cats no matter the species.
The NextDoor discussion where these (and other videos and pics) was posted had several people IDing the cat as either a Bobcat or as a Lynx (you know how people are on ND). I had thought that lynx was sort of synonymous with bobcat; but some people seemed to think otherwise.
Isn’t lynx just another term for bobcat?
Lynx is also the Genus, which contains four species - two in America and two in Europe. Bobcat is the species Lynx rufus occurring in most of the USA. What the people mean by “lynx” in the discussion is anybody’s guess.
In NA people (mostly) use lynx to name Canada Lynx.
The coloring is unusual and it is quite a bit stockier than most , but I think we are too southerly for a Canada Lynx.
Yes, that is clearly Lynx rufus.
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