No, not the cute miniature bulldozer sort of bobcat that would help us control our property. This was the omnivore sort of bobcat, that populates a great deal of our country but is very rare to see outside of a zoo. Todd spotted it (literally, with his million-candle power flashlight) in the dark this morning, standing down by the garage. It was big, too, but definitely a bobcat, not a cougar.
In researching this newly recognised resident of our mountain, I discovered that he (too large to be a she) is likely the reason for the disappearance of three cats from our property in the last 4 years. I like snuggling with a cat, and they kept the outside mouse population in check. But we haven't replaced the last one, because I thought there was a cougar in our territory. Maybe there is - we have seen one a couple of times. But bobncats definitely eat small mammals. Well, we haven't had to deal with any skunks lately! But it's just not right to raise cougar/bobcat kibble.
And, no, before you suggest it, I detest having a catbox inside. And cats being nocturnal creatures, I can foresee being awakened in the middle of snooze. A friend of mine told me that she keeps her cats inside at night without a catbox and they are fine. But what if they didn't come in when we called? Large predator cat crunchies. On the other hand, I really like kitty snuggles and purrs, and the rodent population had exploded outside. I must give this a think.