Meet Your Bobcat Neighbors

Housing crisis good news for LA-area felids

The housing and mortgage crisis a few months ago served as one of the surest signs our economy had started to swirl down the toilet. Countless families defaulted on loans and were forced to ditch their homes, leaving entire neighborhood blocks filled with empty McMansions.

All bad news — if you're human. A family of bobcats with excellent real estate instincts recently took up residence in a foreclosed home in the tony Tuscany Hills development near Los Angeles. At least two adults and three kittens now call the spacious, Spanish-style house near Lake Elsinore home. While we can't confirm whether or not the bobcats love the granite countertops or chrome appliances, wildlife experts confirm the koi pond out back might've sealed the deal.

So far, the bobcats have made excellent neighbors, and can be seen perched atop the adobe walls surrounding the property. Police arrived after frightened neighbors misidentified the cats as mountain lions, but they soon lowered their weapons and snapped photos like everyone else. Animal control expects the cats to move on when the kittens are old enough to travel — as soon as a few weeks.

Said Scott Brown, who with his wife, Karen, moved here from Long Beach to be close to nature: "They are great neighbors, and as long as they don't want to baby-sit my kids, it's not a problem."

Fair enough, but would it kill you to be a little neighborly and bring over a tuna casserole or something?

— Ted Alvarez

With homeowner in doghouse, bobcats move in (LA Times)

(Want to find your own bobcat neighbors? Check out BACKPACKER's exclusive bobcat-spotting guide.)