WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Once again back it's the incredible series that dares to go where only drunken bar bets have before. This time, Jason Toon and Matthew Norman focus on a question that barely effects us all: Who would win in a fight, a bobcat or a person?

 

Cheeky Bobcat

 

 

My money’s on the person by Jason Toon

Zoologists are divided on whether the bobcat is the smallest of the big cats, the biggest of the small cats, or the sole member of its own phylogeneric microclass, medium-sized cats. But one question about this tufty-faced feline has been definitively resolved through empirical observation: a dude could totally whoop up on a bobcat.

Bobcat
That's what whupped looks like.

 

Whether through strangling, judicious use of a geologist’s hammer, or strangling, alert humans have bested the bobcat time and again.

Some would say that the shock of encountering a threatening bobcat would overwhelm a typical person’s faculties, reducing him or her to so much defenseless bobcat chow. But Homo sapiens didn’t climb out of the muck by coming in second-best to what is essentially a steroidal family pet. When the veneer of civilization falls away, man’s savage animal nature takes over. Cupcakes and Snuggies aside, it turns out we can be pretty bad-ass when the bobcat hits the fan.

“A 62-year-old Florida man depended on his instincts when a bobcat attacked him, and it paid off,” says the Fox News account of a 62-year-old Floridian’s bobcat triumph. Even taking into account that network’s notorious bias in favor of foxes, those words should give pause to any bobcat who’s considering having a go. “I started choking it when got a good hold,” said Dale Rippy of Wesley Chapel, Florida. “I choked it ‘til he died. I got scratched up pretty good.” Does that sound like prey talking?

 

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - display:
It's how the food chain works, Robert.

 

Bobcats are also known to be genetically susceptible to the “Hey, what’s that? Look over there” routine, a vulnerability that evolution has eradicated from most terrestrial predators. Combined with the bobcat’s lack of natural defenses against the two-fingered eye-gouge, we can conclude that any member of the Three Stooges would be well-equipped to survive a hostile bobcat encounter, with the possible exception of Curly Joe.

Don’t get me wrong: bobcats are beautiful, enchanting creatures and an essential part of the North American ecosystem. But the second it gets any ideas beyond looking pretty and patrolling the food chain, us naked apes stand ready to deliver the smackdown.

 

Man is the scratching post that bleeds and screams, by Matthew Norman

Jason, you ignorant slut.

This is a perfect example of the kind of inflated self-regard one commonly finds among people who die on alpine hikes, on float trips, and a quarter-mile off the snowshoeing trail.

 

Bobcat kitten - William L Finley NWR
Never get out of the boat.

 

Yeah, lah dee dah, you unearthed a few stories about unarmed humans killing wild cats. Color me a deep shade of not particularly impressed. You know why you can find stories like these to cite? Because they’re SENSATIONAL. It is NOT NORMAL. It’s CRAZY those people killed bobcats bare-handed. They prove a person can strangle a bobcat the way an article from ESPN might prove “a person” can throw a no-hitter.

You notice there are very few articles about people stepping on cockroaches and killing them? What you’ve done here is read a series of man-bites-dog pieces and extrapolated a natural order of things in which people generally bite dogs.

Ask yourself why mankind, as a species, outperforms the bobcat. It’s simple. It’s the same reason we have dominion over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth: Because of our high-powered, outsized brain. That big gray glob is a tremendous advantage! And a necessary one. Without it, we’re just slow-moving prey. With it, we’ve devised traps, concocted poisons, and built weapons. We’ve constructed cities where our otherwise essentially defenseless species can thrive without having to enter into direct personal competition with the other, stronger beasts.

You look at humankind, apparently prosperous and strong, but you fail to see the playpen of civilization that affords us the safety to have become so. You mistake us for being fit for wilderness survival. WTF, dude?

Though your limbs are weak, your lungs feeble, your teeth dull and your nails soft, you’re convinced that, in a do-or-die situation, you could shrug off the trappings of civilization—your only edge in the struggle against nature—like a boxer doffing his robe before a prizefight, and best the bobcat in a bare-handed fight to the death. Actually, you know what we might more properly call such a competition? A test of bobcat skills. I imagine somewhere in the mountains of Colorado, the Jason Toon of bobcats is convinced he’d do pretty well pitted against a human on the SATs.

Do you know what most people actually do in do-or-die situations? They die.

Have you ever seen how badly messed-up a person can be by a comparatively puny house cat when it's ornery?

Remember that THIS AMERICAN LIFE episode about the woman who got fought to a standstill by a mere raccoon?

A bobcat, of course, can eat a raccoon for breakfast. That’s not a figure of speech; it’s literally true. A bobcat can take down a full-grown white-tailed deer. Your average present-day American can’t take himself up three flights of stairs without stopping for a breather.

And where, I wonder, do you imagine this man-on-wildcat bout taking place? Because the bobcat has a huge home-court advantage. In true wilderness, far from hospitals and taxicabs and Neosporin, a cut that’s merely “pretty bad” back home could be fatal. So could a twisted ankle, for that matter. Or damp clothes. This is how fragile you are. A person sits in the comfort of his TV room watching Bear Gryllis’s fantasy hour, or drives out to peep at the Grand Canyon, and imagines he’s prepared for nature’s savagery. He is not. He’s a domesticated marshmallow.

And this is the puny, ignorant, baselessly self-assured sack of soft meat you want to bet on? seriously? Twenty-first-century, first-world man? Against 30 pounds of feline ferocity that’s been killing to eat for almost two million years? Nuh-uh. In an unarmed face-off, a bobcat will cut any man I know to ribbons. And "unarmed, face off" will be an apt description of the human loser afterward, too.

bobcat
The eyes of a killer

 

Of course, I hope a bobcat attack never happens to anyone I know. Likely it won’t. It is, in fact, the extreme unlikelihood of bobcat wrasslin’ that affords my friends like Jason the luxury of their delusions about how well they’d fare. But if, by some truly weird series of events, some human pal of mine ever faces down a feral bobcat, and he enters into this hypothetical interspecies grudge match with anything like the overconfidence on display above, here will be the limits of my compassion:

I will not say “I told him so” at the funeral, and will refrain from forwarding his Darwin Award nomination to any grieving relatives.

Cheeky Bobcat by dinglepup, Bobcat by Mark Gstohl, Bobcat (Lyxn Rufus) by Cliff1066, Bobcat kitten by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bobcat by Otacon are all used under the Creative Commons License

purgeme


quality posts: 5 Private Messages purgeme

I have to say that anyone that has ever tried to bathe a domesticated but still clawed cat has faced only a small portion of the ferociousness of any feral cat. Add the speed and cunning of the Bobcat and you have one heck of a fight. I would put money on the the Bobcat.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar

Your big-brained superiority goes out the window the second your vision's blurred from all the blood.

skoormit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages skoormit

Sue Yellowtail took care of a mountain lion. A bobcat is small beer.

Here's the article.

bsmith1


quality posts: 106 Private Messages bsmith1

As long as you don't bend down and let it chomp on your neck, the human wins every time. The bobcat is too small and light that it doesn't have any leverage against a human. The human could boot it like a soccer ball or spike it to the ground like a football. If the bobcat has its claws all up in you, just make like a boa constrictor and crush it against your own body. The teeth and claws of a bobcat aren't THAT long, so it would take a lot of work before it gets to anything vital.

Also, if Red Dead Redemption has taught me anything, bobcats post no real threat. Mountain lions, on the other hand, will git ya every time.


monkeystyle


quality posts: 0 Private Messages monkeystyle

If the person in question is an ex-marine, well, there IS a precedent. If not, all bets are off.

http://www.chokethebobcat.com

lipophilia


quality posts: 11 Private Messages lipophilia

Oh ... that kind...
I thought you were going to debate the ability of the average human to kick Bobcat Goldthwait's ass.
(Just for the record, my money is on the human.)

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon
bsmith1 wrote:As long as you don't bend down and let it chomp on your neck, the human wins every time. The bobcat is too small and light that it doesn't have any leverage against a human. The human could boot it like a soccer ball or spike it to the ground like a football. If the bobcat has its claws all up in you, just make like a boa constrictor and crush it against your own body. The teeth and claws of a bobcat aren't THAT long, so it would take a lot of work before it gets to anything vital.



Exactly! Thank you for bringing a much-needed voice of reason to the discussion.

jpoolerdom


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jpoolerdom
lipophilia wrote:Oh ... that kind...
I thought you were going to debate the ability of the average human to kick Bobcat Goldthwait's ass.
(Just for the record, my money is on the human.)



you beat me fair and square. good show.

iseeonlyoneitem

matthew


quality posts: 20 Private Messages matthew
bsmith1 wrote:if Red Dead Redemption has taught me anything



See, this is what I'm talking about. A very credible expert witness, Toon.

tgentry


quality posts: 111 Private Messages tgentry

Staff

Even if I survived the attack I doubt I would get the call if it went to the judges. Being down an arm or face but walking away from it is hardly a "win" in my book. Advantage Bobcat.

kardinal


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kardinal
tgentry wrote:Even if I survived the attack I doubt I would get the call if it went to the judges. Being down an arm or face but walking away from it is hardly a "win" in my book. Advantage Bobcat.



The bobcat is dead. You're alive. That counts as a win in anyone's book.

The only way a bobcat (~20lbs) kills a human (~150lbs) is with a bite to the neck. Human grabs bobcat, holds at arms' length, strangles, wins.

I don't think it's much of a debate.

PS - no recorded incidents of a bobcat killing a human...EVER. At least 3 recorded incidents of humans killing bobcats barehanded.

Advantage human.

stead311


quality posts: 0 Private Messages stead311

I graduated from Quinnipiac University - Home of the Bobcats... and I want to assure you that has nothing to do with anything.

I go for Human on this one. One swift punt and the thing will be on its guard for quite a long time. I mean - my cats react that way so naturally...

j/k Jeeeez

But seriously, when I punt cats they know who is boss.

dave bug


quality posts: 14 Private Messages dave bug

Unarmed, I think the bobcat takes the human out. However, give the human a plastic bag to shake in the air and the bobcat will run the other way for miles.

crapface


quality posts: 3 Private Messages crapface
purgeme wrote:I have to say that anyone that has ever tried to bathe a domesticated but still clawed cat has faced only a small portion of the ferociousness of any feral cat. Add the speed and cunning of the Bobcat and you have one heck of a fight. I would put money on the the Bobcat.



There's a big difference between bathing a cat that you don't want to hurt, and a life-and-death-I'm-gonna-kill-this-cat-before-it-kills-me situation.

NemmyX


quality posts: 0 Private Messages NemmyX
crapface wrote:There's a big difference between bathing a cat that you don't want to hurt, and a life-and-death-I'm-gonna-kill-this-cat-before-it-kills-me situation.



See, I wonder about this I'm-gonna-kill-this-thing-before-it-kills-me situation.

I think the average soft, out-of-shape, gets-an-adrenaline-rush-from-Angry-Birds human wouldn't even get into this mode before it's too late. I think there would be a variable mixture (depending on the person) of OH **** THIS BOBCAT IS ATTACKING ME OW IT HURTS fear and overwhelming adrenaline with straight confusion.
I wonder if there would be the realization of "Wow, this thing is gonna kill me if I don't fight back with everything I have", before it was too late in a situation like this (not just with a bobcat). I'm not sure if it would happen.

But it still doesn't matter IMO. The harman is taking the bobcat at least 7 times out of 10; the bobcat just doesn't have the offensive weapons to offset our size and strength advantage to kill a human quickly enough. Your body can take alot of punishment.

If he calls one of his bobcat homeslices though, you are in some trouble, guy.

darkywoot


quality posts: 0 Private Messages darkywoot

From a professional Bobcat assassin i would say
they make nice slippers and yes i could kill them bare handed but they are nasty fighters they will take a finger off in one bite .....

thatheard


quality posts: 6 Private Messages thatheard

I met a guy who had killed a mountain lion with his bare hands. He was (still is, but also was) a professional mountain climber and had freakishly strong hands.

So I'd say I'm with Jason on this one, as long as you've been doing your hand exercises.

danreyna


quality posts: 1 Private Messages danreyna
the bobcat has a huge home-court advantage. In true wilderness, far from hospitals and taxicabs and Neosporin, a cut that’s merely “pretty bad” back home could be fatal.



These are pretty common in the people places, like far north Dallas. Regularly seen around Woot headquarters.

RobinBobcat


quality posts: 41 Private Messages RobinBobcat

This is relevant to my interests.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go stash some dead bodies under the floorboards.

Meow

Go Squarryls!

matthew


quality posts: 20 Private Messages matthew

Just another data point in this important, ongoing debate:

Cleveland Man Airlifted After Fight with Housecat

klozitshoper


quality posts: 2 Private Messages klozitshoper

folks next door to me thought that a litter of bobcats under their hedge and contiguous to my lanai were "cute little kitties" - they had no idea that they were not housecats. I think they all moved on (including the folks who were feeding them) to a preserve area nearby, but I occasionally see one when I am out and about. So far, there have been no attacks by any of them on person or pet. I will remember the tips herein and send pics of either my mutilated remains or that of the ferocious enemy. ONWARD