Tim Newton from Anchorage, Alaska woke up to a commotion coming from his deck. Upon investigation, he discovered not just one, but a family of eight Lynx running and playing enthusiastically as if they were throwing a wildlife party right before his doorstep.
“In all my years in Alaska, I have only seen Lynx a handful of times. Three of those times lasted for less than five seconds. It was some miraculous playtime they had on my deck,” Tim told Love Meow.
On September 19th, Tim was woken by some unfamiliar noise outside his house. “I heard something racing back and forth across the deck. It didn’t sound like anything I’d heard before. The footsteps were very fast. It was an odd sound,” Tim told Love Meow.
He got up and headed over to the north window to investigate. As he slowly opened the curtain, he was shocked by what he saw.
“I said ‘Oh my goodness. There’s a cat.’ I was thinking it was a domestic cat.”
The “cat” was just two feet away from him, watching two others chasing each other back and forth across the deck. As he looked closer through the window, he noticed the long tufts on their ears. Those paws were the size of their face. Suddenly, it hit him that they were lynx kittens, about the same size of an adult domestic cat or larger.
“I made my way carefully to the window and started taking pictures,” Tim told Love Meow. “They were exhibiting this behavior and playfulness that I didn’t know they had.”
The Lynx kittens were flying across his deck and playing with each other almost non-stop. They were packed with energy despite their lean shape. Tim snapped away with his camera for a few minutes before the kittens worked their way towards the north side of the house and disappeared from the horizon.
“I was thinking, ‘I’ve used up my luck and they are gone.'”
He went to the door, hoping to catch one more glance of the magnificent creatures, but much to his chagrin, he found nothing. As he was about to close the screen door, he heard a couple of mews coming from behind the bushes. It was the Lynx mom.
“It didn’t sound like a domestic cat meow. It was a different accent. She did a short mew, then a longer mew. Apparently, it was a call to the kittens because when she did that, the grass below the house started stirring. This wave of moving grass began making its way towards mama Lynx. In cat language, those two mews must have said ‘file along to the deck over here.'”
It was then he realized that the Lynx mother was just standing by a bush, camouflaged. The Lynx kittens hopped on the deck one by one right in front of him while he was standing behind the screen door. He couldn’t believe his luck and started clicking away.
The click sound quickly intrigued the kittens and they began looking around, trying to locate the source of the sound. Eventually, it caught the mama’s attention and she followed the kittens to the deck.
“All of them were standing about 5-7 feet away from where I was. They inspected me the best they could through the screen for 5-10 seconds. Mom looked at me briefly, scanning all around. Finally, they concluded there was no danger there and they shuffled off back on the deck and turned it into a playground again.”
At this point, Tim had taken over 100 photos from inside the house. He was pondering the idea of getting pictures without a screen or window in front. In order to do that, he would need to step outside.
“I went up to the door where the stairs lead down to the deck. I could see the mom behind the bush on the lawn. I didn’t have the complete coverage and knew I had to be careful so I moved as slowly as I could.”
When he made his way down almost to deck level, he resumed photographing the Lynx as quietly as possible, hoping not to disturb the family.
However, one kitten noticed him and became increasingly curious about the clicky box that he was holding. He started making his way towards him while Tim was snapping away, capturing this special moment.
“I was so excited at that point. But for some reason, I took the camera away from my face. At that instance, he saw my eyes and his face turned to a gasp of horror. His eyes were wide open and he turned and sped across the deck,” Tim told Love Meow.
“I didn’t know why I did that. I think the cuteness overtook me and I wanted to look at the kitten.”
A few minutes later, the kittens made their way to where mom was as the “party” came to an end. “They all gathered around her and then she turned and walked into the hillside and disappeared,” Tim told Love meow.
Tim had never imagined having such a close encounter with the family of eight stunning Lynx for incredible 40 minutes.
Though he doesn’t expect to see them again, he is hoping that someday some of these Lynx kittens will return, and perhaps, with their offspring playing and leaping across the field.
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