It might have been deemed a nasty awakening if the offenders hadn’t been so dang cute.
Tim Newton lives in Alaska on land that borders a vast nature preserve, so he’s used to seeing wildlife in his yard. On this particular morning, though, one fluffy family of wild felines didn’t just pass through; they opted to use his porch as a playground. This started while Newton was still sleeping, but he was quickly awoken by a commotion.
“It was just before daybreak. “I heard some noises, like somebody scurrying on the deck,” Newton explained to The Dodo. “When I awoke from my nap, I wondered, ‘What the hell is that?’” So I changed into my bathrobe and gradually eased back the curtain. And right there, 2 feet away, was a lynx kitten. He was sitting there watching his siblings race by.”
There were three or four lynx kittens enjoying a sort of party on Newton’s deck.
Fortunately, he had his camera with him.
Newton described them as “running back and forth, pouncing on each other.” “I began taking pictures. ‘Wow!’ I said. What unbelievable fortune. This just outperforms anything else. ‘This is fantastic!’”
CREDIT: TIM NEWTON PHOTOGRAPHY
Lynx are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild, and Newton has only seen them a few times. So the opportunity to photograph them up close and personal from the comfort of his own home was very exciting for him.
“They were beautiful. It was adorable “Newton said. “It was incredible.”
But things become much better.
The small lynx scurried off Newton’s deck and into his yard after a few minutes. He assumed that playtime had come to an end, despite the fact that it had only just begun. Newton was looking out his screen door when he heard the kitten’s mother mewing from the grass. Then, one by one, all seven of her children walked back onto his deck, followed by her.
“I’ve never seen so many lynx before,” Newton said. “I was astounded to see so many lynx on my balcony.”
That lasted for a short time. The kittens were soon back at it.
“They started playing again,” Newton explained. “They all played on my deck for the next 40 minutes.” They were pursuing, rolling, and grappling.”Newton got a lot of respect for their mother after witnessing how boisterous the kittens were.
“She’s got a lot on her plate,” he remarked. “I’ve decided that lynx must spend 1% of their waking life pursuing rabbits and 95% chasing their children.” What a handful!”
Newton caught some stunning shots of the lynx, who didn’t appear to notice him at all – except for one, who approached the screen to investigate. That didn’t work out.
“I’m not sure why I did this – maybe to say to him, ‘Oh, what a cute little kitty!’ — but I pulled the camera away from my face a little, and my eyes showed,” Newton said. “The look of terror on that kitten’s face! His eyes were wide open, and he just flew away from me! But the others didn’t pick up on it.”
The lynx encounter ended just as pleasantly as it had begun. When the mother lynx decided that fun was over, she calmly gathered her cubs and marched back into the forest with them. According to Newton, the entire experience seemed like a miracle.
“We’re always excited to see animals,” he remarked. “It makes me grateful — grateful for where I live. I’m glad I got to view these lynx up close.”