I couldn’t believe it. I had a bobcat, a predator trophy I never expected. It was so much more of a success than 10 coyotes would have been. This beautiful cat was enough predator for this day, week, or even year. We forded the stream and climbed up the far bank to reach our trophy. It turned out to be a beautiful female – weighing right at 18 pounds. She had not moved from where she had tumbled off the log. She had thick ruffs that framed her face, and huge paws that looked totally outsized for her small frame. After our photographic session, we headed back up the trail, with me carrying our trophy bobcat. When we made it back to Ron’s pickup, we carefully placed her on thick towels in an empty space in his toolbox. That day’s temperature had not risen above 40 degrees, guaranteeing that the cat would cool down quickly, protecting the delicate hide.

As we headed back towards Ron’s home, I turned my phone on and glanced at my messages. The first one that caught my eye was a text from my brother. I shuddered, and let out a sigh. Ron glanced my way and asked if everything was ok. I hesitated, swallowed slowly, and said, “My brother wrote me about 30 minutes ago to say that my Mom had just passed away.”

(Excerpt from A Bobcat for Mama)

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