A cat strolling along the top of your backyard fence is a familiar sight to almost anyone. It's less of a familiar sight when the cat in question is a bobcat.

Footage of the feline was captured by Mike Talarico, a resident of the Canadian city of Kelowna in British Columbia. Talarico happened to glance out of his kitchen window at just the right moment to see the stub-tailed wild cat take an exploratory circuit around his yard. Fortunately for us, he also happened to have a camera handy.

"It was cool, it was really amazing to see him," Talarico told Canadian news outlet Global News. "I've never seen anything like this."

The visitor may have startled Talarico, but bobcats venturing this close to humans is certainly not unheard of, especially in Canada. These opportunistic hunters, members of the lynx family, have a very wide range that stretches from Canada to Mexico, and they cross paths with people fairly regularly. According to University of British Columbia lynx and bobcat researcher Tj Gooliaff, sightings like this are particularly likely in the winter.

"This time of year ... you usually do see a large number of bobcat sightings and that's because of snow," Gooliaf says. "They're being pushed down from the high elevations, going down to the low elevations where there's less snow. Turns out that's also where people like to live."

And even far from the snowy suburbs of British Columbia, encounters with these curious wild cats are not uncommon. Last year, a surprised couple in the hot and arid climes of Peoria, Arizona were confronted with a group of bobcat kittens frolicking on their front porch.

Arizona bobcats 1 2016-09-02
Image: Paul and Pamela Oldach/KPHO/KTVK

Yet despite their adorable appearance and relatively small size compared to other wild cats, it's worth remembering that these are wild animals and should always be treated with caution and respect. Taking videos or photos from a safe distance away, however, is encouraged.


Top  header image: e_monk, Flickr