OK. Here’s one hard to believe. But true…
Yesterday (July 28, 2010) around 3 PM, my 18 yr old son and I were driving on Wolfpit Road in Wilton, nearly to the New Canaan border, when an animal ran out of the woods right in front of my car. Loping across the street – from the left (passenger side of the car) to the woods on my left. I was driving – and if I didn’t slam on my brakes, I’d have likely hit it. It was very, very close. And though it was moving quickly, I got a good look at it from above, as did my son.
The animal had all the appearances of being a feline cub. Not a mature animal. Paws too big for the body, body a more compact than adult felines. It’s coat was very short hair, but clearly dense, colored a spectacular golden brown, with a hint of a reddish cast. Tawny. The side of the face had some black stripe-like markings, possibly with some white mixed in. We did not get a good look at the tale.
But the most striking thing about this animal was how sturdy it was. Clearly densely muscled. Very densely muscled. From chest to rump, I’d estimate between 26″ and 32″ long. Height at the shoulder – a bit harder to guess as we saw it from above – but I’d say about 16″ to 20″. But it was stocky. I’ve got a good size house cat that weights about 15 lbs. So if my cat is 15 lbs, I’d have to estimate this to be 55 lbs if it was an ounce. My son’s guess was 60+ lbs.
Mountain lion cub?
Hard to say. We didn’t get a good look at the tail. You’d think we’d have clearly seen a big long tail. So that originally had me thinking bobcat or lynx. But every picture I can find of either of those, adult or juvenile, have some form of spotting, however subtle. We got a real good look at the very broad back and flanks of this animal, and there were no spots. None. Likewise in every picture of bobcat or lynx that I can find, their hair is not short and dense, but instead more like a medium haired cat. This animal’s fur was very dense, and short. And finally, you’d have to have seen how stocky this animal was. Not fat. Stocky.Built like a long furry brick on legs.
Mountain lion cub? You be the judge. But from all the pictures I’ve been able to find on-line, it looks like a dead ringer to me.
And I’m very happy to stand behind this story. I know what I saw.