1 Common American Wild Cat
LYNX RUFUS.--GULDENSTAED. [Felis Rufus] COMMON AMERICAN WILD CAT.--BAY LYNX. [Bobcat] PLATE I.--MALE. L. Cauda capite paullo breviore, ad extremum supra nigra, apice subalbida; auribus pagina posteriore maculo sub albido nigro marginato distinctis; hyeme et auctumno rufo-fuscus; vere et aestate cinereo-fuscus.
CHARACTERS. Tail nearly as long as the head, extremity on the upper surface black, tipped with more or less white; a whitish spot on the hinder part of the ear bordered with black; general colour reddish-brown in autumn and winter, ashy brown in spring and summer; soles naked. SYNONYMES. BAY LYNX, Pennant, Hist. Quadr., No. 171. Arctic Zool., vol. 1., p. 51. FELIS RUFA, Guld. in Nov. Comm. Petross. xx., p. 499. FELIS RUFA, Temm., Monog., &c., vol. 1., p. 141. LYNX FASCIATUS, Rafin. in Amer. Month. Mag., 1817, p. 46. LYNX MONTANUS, Idem, Ibid., pp. 46, 2. LYNX FLORIDANUS, Idem, Ibid., pp. 4, 64. LYNX AUREUS, Idem, Ibid., pp. 46, 6. FELIS CAROLINENSIS, Desm., Mamm., p. 231. FELIS RUFA, Godm., Amer. Nat. Hist., vol. iii., p. 239; Fig. in vol. I. DESCRIPTION. In size and form, this species bears some resemblance to small specimens of the female Canada Lynx, (Lynx Canadensis,) the larger feet and more tufted ears of the latter, however, as well as its grayer colour, will enable even an unpractised observer at a glance to distinguish the difference between the two species. Head of moderate size, rounded; body rather slender; legs long; soles of feet naked; hind-feet webbed to within five-eighths of an inch of the claws; ears large, nearly triangular, erect, tipped with coarse hairs half an inch long, which drop out in summer; the inner surface thinly sprinkled with loose hairs, outer, thickly covered with short fur. A ruff of elongated hairs surrounding the throat, more prominent in the male than female; tail short, slender, and slightly turned upwards. mammae eight; four pectoral and four abdominal. COLOUR. The hind-head and back, yellowish-brown, with a dorsal line more or less distinct, of dark-brown, running from the shoulder to near the insertion of the tail. A few irregular longitudinal stripes on the back, of the same colour. The sides spotted with dark-brown, these spots being more distinct and in closer approximation in some specimens than in others. Forehead obscurely striped with dark-brown. Over and beneath the eyes yellowish-white; whiskers nearly all white. Ears, outer surface, a triangular spot of dull white, dilated towards the outer margin, bordered with brownish-black; inner surface yellowish white. Under surface of body yellowish white, spotted with black; tail, above, barred with rufous and black, towards the extremity a broad band of black, tipped at the point and particularly in the centre with white; under surface of tail, light-gray, interspersed with small and irregular patches of black hairs. Fore-feet on the upper surface, broadly, and towards the toes minutely, spotted with black on a light yellowish-brown ground; inner surface dull white, with two broad and several narrow bars of black; paws beneath, and hair between the soles, dark-brown. Hind-legs barred and spotted similarly to the fore-legs. Chin and throat dull white, with two black lines, commencing on a point on a line with the articulation of the lower jaw, where they form an acute angle, and thence diverge to the sides of the neck, and unite with the ruff, which is black, mixed with yellowish-brown and gray hairs. The female is considerably smaller than the male, her body more slender, and her movements have a stronger resemblance, in their lightness and agility, to those of the common house-cat; the markings appear more distinct, and the rounded black spots on the back and sides, smaller and more numerous. There is in this species a considerable diversity in colour, as well as in size. In spring and early summer, before it has shed its winter coat, it is uniformly more rufous, and the black markings are less distinct, than after shedding its hair, and before the new hair is elongated in autumn to form the winter coat. Our specimens obtained in summer and autumn, are of a light gray colour, with scarcely any mixture of rufous, and all the black markings are brighter and far more distinct than they are in those killed in the winter or spring months. There are, however, at all seasons of the year, even in the same neighbourhood, strongly-marked varieties, and it is difficult to find two individuals precisely alike. Some specimens are broadly marked with fulvous under the throat, whilst in others the throat as well as the chin are gray. In some the stripes on the back and spots along the sides are very distinctly seen, whilst in others they are scarcely visible, and the animal is grayish-brown above with a dark dorsal stripe. A specimen from the mountains of Pennsylvania presents this appearance strikingly, and is withal nearly destitute of the triangular marking under the throat, so that we hesitated for some time in referring it to this species. A specimen from Louisiana is of the same uniform colour above, but with more distinct linear markings on the face, and with coarse hair, not more than half the length of that of individuals from the Northern States. We obtained a specimen in Carolina, which in nearly every particular answers to the description of Fells Carolinensis of DESMAREST. If the various supposed new species of Wild Cat described by RAFINESQUE, HARLAN, DESMAREST, &c., are entitled to a place in our Fauna, on account of some peculiarity of colour, we have it in our power, from specimens before us, to increase the number to a considerable extent; but in doing so we think we should only swell the list of synonymes, and add to the confusion which already prevails in regard to some of the species belonging to this genus. DIMENSIONS. Adult Male.--[Fine Specimen.] Inches. From point of nose to root of tail. . . . . . 30 Tail (vertebrae). . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Tail, to end of hair . . . . . . . . . . 5 1/2 From nose to end of skull. . . . . . . . . 4 1/2 From nose, following the curvature of the head. . 6 Tufts on the ears . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 Breadth of ear . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5/8 Anterior length of ear. . . . . . . . . . 1 3/4 Length of neck . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Weight 17 lbs. HABITS. The general appearance of this species conveys the idea of a degree of ferocity, which cannot with propriety be considered as belonging to its character, although it will, when at bay, show its sharp teeth, and with outstretched claws and infuriated despair, repel the attacks of either man or dog sputtering the while, and rolling its eyes like the common cat. It is, however, generally cowardly when attacked, and always flies from its pursuers, if it can; and although some anecdotes have been related to us of the strength, daring, and fierceness of this animal, such as its having been known to kill at different times a sheep, a full-grown doe, attack a child in the woods, &c.; yet in all the instances that have come under our own notice, we have found it very timid, and always rather inclined to beat a retreat, than to make an attack on any animal larger than a hare or a young pig. In the American Turf Register, there is an interesting extract of a letter from Dr. COLEMAN, U.S.A., written at Fort Armstrong, Prairie du Chien, giving an account of a contest between an eagle and a Wild Cat. After a fierce struggle, in which the eagle was so badly wounded as to be unable to fly, the Cat, scratched and pierced in many places, and having had one eye entirely "gouged out" in the combat, was found lying dead. In hunting at night for racoons and opossums, in which sport the negroes on the plantations of Carolina take great delight, a Cat is occasionally "treed " by the dogs; and the negroes, who seldom carry a gun, climb up the tree and shake him off as they would do a racoon, and although he fights desperately, he is generally killed by the dogs. During a botanical excursion through the swamps of the Edisto river, our attention was attracted by the barking of a small terrier at the foot of a sapling, (young tree.) On looking up, we observed a Wild Cat, about twenty feet from the ground, of at least three times the size of the dog, which he did not appear to be much afraid of. He seemed to have a greater dread of man, however, than of this diminutive specimen of the canine race, and leaped from the tree as we drew near. The Wild Cat pursues his prey with both activity and cunning, sometimes bounding suddenly upon the object of his rapacity, sometimes with stealthy pace, approaching it in the darkness of night, seizing it with his strong retractile claws and sharp teeth, and bearing it off to his retreat in the forest. The individual from which our figure was drawn had been caught in a steel-trap, and was brought to us alive. We kept it for several weeks; it was a fine male, although not the largest we have seen. Like most of the predacious animals, it grew fat in confinement, being regularly fed on the refuse parts of chickens and raw meat, as well as on the common brown rat. The Bay Lynx (as this animal is sometimes called) is fond of swampy, retired situations, as well as the wooded sides of hills, and is still seen occasionally in that portion of the Alleghany mountains which traverses the States of Pennsylvania and New-York. It is abundant in the Canebrakes (patches or thickets of the Miegia Macrosperma, of MICHAUX, which often extend for miles, and are almost impassable) bordering the lakes, rivers, and lagoons of Carolina, Louisiana, and other Southern and South Western States. This species also inhabits the mountains and the undulating or rolling country of the Southern States, and frequents the thickets that generally spring up on deserted cotton plantations, some of which are two or three miles long, and perhaps a mile wide, and afford, from the quantity of briars, shrubs, and young trees of various kinds which have overgrown them, excellent cover for many quadrupeds and birds. In these bramble-covered old fields, the "Cats" feed chiefly on the rabbits and rats that make their homes in their almost impenetrable and tangled recesses; and seldom does the cautious Wild Cat voluntarily leave so comfortable and secure a lurking place, except in the breeding season, or to follow in very sultry weather, the dry beds of streams or brooks, to pick up the catfish, &c., or crayfish and frogs that remain in the deep holes of the creeks, during the drought of summer. The Wild Cat not only makes great havoc among the chickens, turkeys, and ducks of the planter, but destroys many of the smaller quadrupeds, as well as partridges, and such other birds as he can surprise roosting on the ground. The hunters often run down the Wild Cat with packs of fox-hounds. When hard pressed by fast dogs, and in an open country, he ascends a tree with the agility of a squirrel, but the baying of the dogs calling his pursuers to the spot, the unerring rifle brings him to the ground, when, if not mortally wounded, he fights fiercely with the pack until killed. He will, however, when pursued by hunters with hounds, frequently elude both dogs and huntsmen, by an exercise of instinct, so closely bordering on reason, that we are bewildered in the attempt to separate it from the latter. No sooner does he become aware that the enemy is on his track, than, instead of taking a straight course for the deepest forest, he speeds to one of the largest old-fields overgrown with briery thickets, in the neighbourhood; and having reached this tangled maze, he runs in a variety of circles, crossing and re-crossing his path many times, and when he thinks the scent has been diffused sufficiently in different directions by this manoeuvre, to puzzle both men and dogs, he creeps slyly forth, and makes for the woods, or for some well known swamp, and if he should be lucky enough to find a half-dried-up pond, or a part of the swamp, on which the clayey bottom is moist and sticky, he seems to know that the adhesive soil, covering his feet and legs, so far destroys the scent, that although the hounds may be in full cry on reaching such a place, and while crossing it, they will lose the track on the opposite side, and perhaps not regain it without some difficulty and delay. At other times the "Cat," when chased by the dogs, gains some tract of "burnt wood," common especially in the pine lands of Carolina, where fallen and upright trees are alike blackened and scorched, by the fire that has run among them burning before it every blade of grass, every leaf and shrub, and destroying many of the largest trees in its furious course; and here, the charcoal and ashes on the ground, after he has traversed the burnt district a short distance, and made a few leaps along the trunk of a fallen tree, that has been charred in the conflagration, will generally put any hounds at fault. Should no such chance of safety be within his reach, he does not despair, but exerting his powers of flight to the utmost, increases his distance from the pursuing pack, and following as intricate and devious a path as possible, after many a weary mile has been run over, he reaches a long-fallen trunk of a tree, on which he may perchance at some previous time have baffled the hunters as he is now about to do. He leaps on to it, and hastily running to the farther end, doubles and returns to the point from which he gained the tree, and after running backward and forward repeatedly on the fallen trunk, he makes a sudden and vigorous spring, leaping as high up into a tree some feet distant, as he can; he then climbs to its highest forks, (branches,) and closely squatted, watches the movements of his pursuers. The dogs are soon at fault, for he has already led them through many a crooked path; the hunters are dispirited and weary, and perhaps the density of the woods, or the approach of night, favours him. The huntsmen call off their dogs from the fruitless search, and give up the chase; and shortly afterwards the escaped marauder descends leisurely to the earth, and wanders off in search of food, and to begin a new series of adventures. In some parts of Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the Wild Cat has at times become so great a nuisance as to have aroused the spirit of vengeance in the hearts of the planters, who are constant sufferers from his depreciations. They have learned by experience, that one Cat will do as much mischief among the pigs and poultry as a dozen gray foxes. They are now determined to allow their hounds, which they had hitherto kept solely for the favourite amusement of deer hunting, and which had always been whipped-in from the trail of the Wild Cat, to pursue him, through thicket, briar patch, marsh, and morass, until he is caught or killed. Arrangements for the Cat-hunt are made over night. Two or three neighbours form the party, each one bringing with him all the hounds he can muster. We have seen thirty of the latter brought together on such occasions, some of which were not inferior to the best we have examined in England, indeed, great numbers of the finest fox-hounds are annually imported into Carolina. At the earliest dawn, the party is summoned to the spot previously fixed on as the place of meeting. A horn is sounded, not low and with a single blast, as is usual in hunting the deer, lest the timid animal should be startled from its bed among the broom-grass (Andropagon dissitiflorus) and bound away out of the drive, beyond the reach of the hunter's double-barrel loaded with buckshot; but with a loud, long, and oft-repeated blast, wakening the echoes that rise from the rice-fields and marshes, and are reverberated from shore to shore of the winding sluggish river, until lost among the fogs and shadows of the distant forest. An answering horn is heard half a mile off, and anon comes another response from a different quarter. The party is soon collected, they are mounted, not on the fleetest and best-blooded horses, but on the most sure-footed, (sometimes called "Old field Tackies,") which know how to avoid the stump-holes on the burnt grounds of the pine lands, which stand the fire of the gun, and which can not only go with tolerable speed, but are, to use a common expression, "tough as a pine knot." The hunters greet each other in the open-hearted manner characteristic of the Southern planter. Each pack of dogs is under the guidance of a coloured driver, whose business it is to control the hounds and encourage and aid them in the hunt. The drivers ride in most cases the fleetest horses on the ground, in order to be able, whilst on a deer hunt, to stop the dogs. These men, who are so important to the success of the chase, are possessed of a good deal of intelligence and shrewdness, are usually much petted, and regarding themselves as belonging to the aristocracy of the plantation, are apt to look down upon their fellow-servants as inferiors, and consider themselves privileged even to crack a joke with their masters. The drivers are ordered to stop the dogs if a deer should be started, a circumstance which often occurs, and which has saved the life of many a Cat, whose fate five minutes before this unlucky occurrence was believed to be sealed. Orders are given to destroy the Cat fairly by running him down with the hounds, or if this cannot be done, then by shooting him if he ascends a tree or approaches within gun shot of the stand which the hunter has selected as the most likely place for him to pass near. The day is most auspicious--there is not a breath of wind to rustle the falling leaves, nor a cloud to throw its shadows over the wide joyous landscape. The dew-drops are sparkling on the few remaining leaves of the persimmon tree, and the asters and dog-fennel hang drooping beneath their load of moisture. The dogs are gambolling in circles around, and ever and anon, in spite of all restraint, the joyous note breaks forth--the whole pack is impatient for the chase, and the young dogs are almost frantic with excitement. But we have not time for a farther description of the scene--whilst we are musing and gazing, the word is given, "Go!" and off start the hounds, each pack following its own driver to different parts of the old fields, or along the borders of the swamps and marshes. Much time, labour and patience are usually required, before the "Cat" can be found by the dogs: sometimes there is a sudden burst from one or the other of the packs, awakening expectation in the minds of the huntsmen, but the driver is not to be so easily deceived, as he has some dogs that never open at a rabbit, and the snap of the whip soon silences the riotous young babblers. Again there is a wild burst and an exulting shout, giving assurance that better game than a rabbit is on foot; and now is heard a distant shot, succeeded in a second of time by another, and for an instant all is still: the echoes come roaring up through the woods, and as they gradually subside, the crack of the whip is again heard stopping the dogs. The story is soon told: a deer had been started--the shot was too small--or the distance too great, or any other excuses (which are always at hand among hunters of fertile imagination) are made by the unsuccessful sportsman who fired, and the dogs are carried back to the "trail" of the Cat, that has been growing fresher and fresher for the last half hour. At length, "Trimbush," (and a good dog is he,) that has been working on the cold trail for some time, begins to give tongue, in a way that brings the other dogs to his aid. The drivers now advance to each other, encouraging their dogs; the trail becomes a drag; onward it goes through a broad marsh at the head of a rice-field. "He will soon be started now!" "He is up!" What a burst! you might have heard it two miles off--it comes in mingled sounds, roaring like thunder from the muddy marsh and from the deep swamp. The barred owl, frightened from the monotony of his quiet life among the cypress trees, commences hooting in mockery as it were, of the wide-mouthed hounds. Here they come, sweeping through the resounding swamp like an equinoctial storm--the crackling of a reed, the shaking of a bush, a glimpse of some object that glided past like a shadow, is succeeded by the whole pack, rattling away among the vines and fallen timbers, and leaving a trail in the mud as if a pack of wolves in pursuit of a deer had hurried by. The Cat has gone past. It is now evident that he will not climb a tree. It is almost invariably the case, that where he can retreat to low swampy situations, or briar patches, he will not take a tree, but seeks to weary the dogs by making short windings among the almost impassable briar patches. He has now been twisting and turning half a dozen times in a thicket covering only three or four acres--let us go in and take our stand on the very trail where he last passed, and shoot him if we can. A shot is heard on the opposite edge of the thicket, and again all is still; but once more the pack is in full cry. Here he comes, almost brushing our legs as he dashes by and disappears in the bushes, before we can get sight of him and pull trigger. But we see that the dogs are every moment pressing him closer, that the marauder is showing evidences of fatigue and is nearly "done up." He begins to make narrower circles, there are restless flashes in his eye, his back is now curved upwards, his hair is bristled nervously forward, his tongue hangs out--we raise our gun as he is approaching, and scarcely ten yards off--a loud report--the smoke has hardly blown aside, ere we see him lifeless, almost at our very feet--had we waited three minutes longer, the hounds would have saved us the powder and shot! One fine morning in autumn, when we had crossed the Ohio river at Henderson, in Kentucky, with the view of shooting some wild turkeys, geese, and perhaps a deer, we chanced to seat ourselves about fifty yards from a prostrate tree, and presently saw a Wild Cat leap on to it and go through the manoeuvres we have described in a preceding page. He did not see us, and had scarcely reached one of the higher branches of a tall white-oak, after springing into it from the fallen tree, when we heard the dogs, which soon came up, with the hunters following not far behind. They asked, when they perceived us, whether we had seen the "Cat" that had given them the slip. Always willing to assist the hunter who has lost his game, and having no particular liking towards this species, we answered in the affirmative, and showed them the animal, closely squatted on a large branch some distance from the ground. One of the party immediately put his rifle to his shoulder and pulled the trigger: the Cat leaped from the branch into the air, and fell to the earth quite dead. Whilst residing in Louisiana some twenty years since, we chanced one afternoon to surprise one of these depredators. He had secured a hare, (commonly called rabbit,) and was so eagerly engaged in satisfying his hunger as not to observe us, until we were near the spot where he was partially concealed behind a rotten log. At sight of us, he squatted flat on the ground. As we looked at him, we heard a squirrel close by, and turned our head for an instant, but scarce had we glanced at the squirrel, when looking again for the Wild-Cat, he had disappeared, carrying the remains of the hare away with him. About twenty miles from Charleston, South-Carolina, resides a worthy friend of ours, a gentleman well known for his skill in the sports of the field, his hospitality to both friends and strangers, and the excellent manner in which his plantation is managed. The plantation of Dr. DESEL is, in short, the very place for one who likes the sight of several fine bucks hanging on the branches of an old Pecan-nut tree; while turkeys, geese, and poultry of other kinds, are seen in abundance in his well stocked poultry yards, affording certainty of good cheer to his visitors. The Doctor's geese were nightly lodged near the house, in an enclosure which was rendered apparently safe, by a very high fence. As an additional security, several watch dogs were let loose about the premises; besides an excellent pack of hounds, which by an occasional bark or howl during the night, sounded a note of warning or alarm in case any marauder, whether biped or quadruped, approached. Notwithstanding these precautions, a goose disappeared almost every night, and no trace of the ingress or egress of the robber could be discovered. Slow in attaching suspicion to his servants, the Dr. waited for time and watchfulness to solve the mystery. At length, the feathers, and other remains of his geese, were discovered in a marsh about a quarter of a mile from the house, and strong suspicions were fastened on the Wild-Cat; still, as he came at odd hours of the night, all attempts to catch or shoot him proved for a time unavailing. One morning, however, he came about day-light, and having captured a good fat goose, was traced by the keen noses of the hounds. The chase was kept up for some time through the devious windings of the thickets, when his career of mischief was brought to a close by a shot from the gun of our friend the Doctor, who, in self-defence, became his executioner. Thus ended his career. In this respect he fared worse than he deserved, compared with those beings of a superior nature, who, not understanding that "Honesty is the best policy," outdo our Wild-Cat in his destructive habits, until the laws, so just and useful, when mildly, but always, enforced, put an effectual stop to their criminal proceedings. The Wild-Cat is a great destroyer of eggs, and never finds a nest of grouse or partridge, wild turkey or other bird, without sucking every egg in it. Indeed, it will, if practicable, seize on both young and old birds of these and other species. Its "penchant" for a "poulet au naturel" has suggested the following method of capturing it in Georgia, as related to us by our friend MAJOR LECONTE, late of the United States Army. A large and strong box-trap is constructed, and a chicken-cock (rooster), placed at the farthest end of it from the door, is tied by one leg, so that he cannot move. There is a stout wire partition about half way between the fowl and the door, which prevents the Cat when entering the trap, from seizing the bird. The trap is then set, so that when the animal enters, the open door closes behind him by a spring, (commonly the branch of some tree bent down for the purpose, and released by a trigger set at the entrance or just within the trap.) These traps are placed in different parts of the plantations, or in the woods, and the Wild-Cat is generally attracted by the crowing of the cock at early dawn of day. MAJOR LECONTE, has caught many of them by this artifice, on and about his plantations in the neighbourhood of Savannah, in Georgia; and this method of capturing the Wild-Cat is also quite common in South Carolina. Indeed, this species does not seem to possess the suspicion and cunning inherent in the fox, enabling the latter to avoid a trap of almost any kind. We have seen the Wild-Cat taken from the common log-traps set for racoons. We saw one in a cage, that had been caught in a common box-trap, baited with a dead partridge, and have heard intelligent domestics residing on the banks of the Santee river, state, that after setting their steel traps for otters, they frequently found the Wild-Cat caught in them instead. When this animal discovers a flock of wild turkeys, he will generally follow them at a little distance for some time, and after having ascertained the direction in which they are proceeding, make a rapid detour, and concealing himself behind a fallen tree, or in the lower branches of some leafy maple, patiently wait in ambush until the birds approach, when he suddenly springs on one of them, if near enough, and with one bound secures it. We once, while resting on a log in the woods, on the banks or the Wabash river, perceived two wild turkey cocks at some distance below us, under the bank near the water, pluming and picking their feathers; on a sudden, one of them flew across the river, and the other we saw struggling in the grasp of a Wild-Cat, which almost instantly dragged it up the bank into the woods, and made off. On another occasion we observed an individual of this species, about nine miles from Charleston, in pursuit of a covey of partridges, (Ortyx Virginiana,)--so intent was the Cat upon its prey, that it passed within ten steps of us, as it was making a circle, to get in advance and in the path of the birds,--its eyes were constantly fixed on the covey, and it stealthily concealed itself behind a log it expected the birds to pass. In a second attempt the marauder succeeded in capturing one of the partridges, when the rest in great affright flew and scattered in all directions. An individual that was kept alive at Charleston, and afterwards for a short time at our house, in the city of New-York, showed its affinity to the domestic cat, by purring and mewing at times loud enough to be heard at some distance. At the former place its cry was several times mistaken for that of the common house-cat. In the woods, during the winter season, its loud catterwauling can be heard at the distance of a mile. Although this species may perhaps be designated as nocturnal in its habits, it is, by no means, exclusively so, as is shown by the foregoing account. We have, in fact, in several instances, seen this Cat engaged in some predatory expedition in full sunshine, both in winter and summer. It is not a very active swimmer, but is not averse to taking the water. We witnessed it on one occasion crossing the Santee river when not pursued, and at another time saw one swimming across some ponds to make its escape from the dogs. It has been observed, however, that when it has taken to the water during a hard chase, it soon after either ascends a tree or is caught by the hounds. The domicile of the Wild-Cat is sometimes under an old log, covered with vines such as the Smilax, Ziziphus volubilus, Rubus, &c., but more commonly in a hollow tree. Sometimes it is found in an opening twenty or thirty feet high, but generally much nearer the ground, frequently in a cavity at the root, and sometimes in the hollow trunk of a fallen tree, where, after collecting a considerable quantity of long moss and dried leaves to make a comfortable lair, it produces from two to four young. These are brought forth in the latter end of March in Carolina; in the Northern States, however, the kittens appear later, as we have heard of an instance in Pennsylvania where two young were found on the 15th day of May, apparently not a week old. Our friend Dr. SAMUEL WILSON, of Charleston, a close observer of nature, has made the following note in our memorandum book: "April 15th, 1839, shot a female Wild-Cat as it started from its bed, out of which four young ones were taken; their eyes were not yet open." Our friend Dr. DESEL, whom we have already mentioned, saw three young ones taken out from the hollow of a tree which was thirty feet from the ground. On four occasions, we have had opportunities of counting the young, either in the nest or having been very recently taken from it. In every case there were three young ones. In one instance the nest was composed of long moss, (Tillandsia usneoides,) which seemed to have been part of an old, deserted, squirrel's nest. We once made an attempt at domesticating one of the young of this species, which we obtained when only two weeks old. It was a most spiteful, growling, snappish little wretch, and showed no disposition to improve its habits and manners under our kind tuition. We placed it in a wooden box, from which it was constantly striving to gnaw its way out. It, one night, escaped into our library, where it made sad work among the books, (which gave us some valuable lessons on the philosophy of patience, we could not have so readily found among our folios,) and left the marks of its teeth on the mutilated window-sashes. Finally, we fastened it with a light chain, and had a small kennel built for it in the yard. Here it was constantly indulging its carnivorous propensities, and catching the young poultry, which it enticed within reach of its chain by leaving a portion of its food at the door of its house, into which it retreated until an opportunity offered to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. Thus it continued, growing, if possible, more wild and vicious every day, growling and spitting at every servant that approached it, until at last, an unlucky blow, as a punishment for its mischievous tricks, put an end to its life, and with it to one source of annoyance. The Bay Lynx is generally in fine order, and often very fat. The meat is white, and has somewhat the appearance of veal. Although we omitted to taste it, we have seen it cooked, when it appeared savoury, and the persons who partook of it pronounced it delicious. The muscular powers of this species are very great, and the fore-feet and legs are rather large in proportion to the body. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. The geographical range of the Bay Lynx is very extensive, it being found to inhabit portions of the Continent from the tropics as far north as 60 degrees. It abounds in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and both the Carolinas, and is found in all the States east of these, and likewise in New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. We have seen it on the shores of the Upper Missouri more than a thousand miles above St. Louis. We examined one that had been taken a few hours before by some hunters in Erie county, in the State of New-York, and have heard of its existing, although rather sparingly, in Upper Canada, where it has been occasionally captured. GENERAL REMARKS. We are not so fortunate as to possess any specimen from Oregon, or the regions west of the Rocky Mountains, to enable us to institute a close comparison, and therefore cannot be certain that the Cat described by LEWIS and CLARK, to which naturalists, without having seen it, have attached the name of Fells fasciata, or that the individual described by Dr. RICHARDSON, and referred by him to Felis rufa, are identical with the present species; yet as they do not present greater marks of difference than those observable in many other varieties of it, and as we have carefully examined several hundred specimens in the museums and private collections of Europe and America, and have, at this moment, upwards of twenty lying before us, that were obtained in various parts of the country, from Texas to Canada, our present conclusion is, that in the United States, east and north of the Mississippi, there are but two species of Lynx--the well known Canada Lynx, and the Bay Lynx--our present species, and that the varieties in colour, (especially in the latter animal,) have contributed to the formation of many imaginary species. Whatever may be the varieties, however, there are some markings in this species which are permanent, like the white ears and nose of the fox squirrel (Sc. Capistratus,) and which serve to identify it through all the variations of sex, season, and latitude. All of them have naked soles, and the peculiar markings at the extremity of the slender tail, which terminates as abruptly as if it had been amputated. It may also be distinguished from any variety of the Canada Lynx, (L. Canadensis,) by a white patch behind the ear, which does not exist in the latter. This peculiar mark is to be observed, however, in several species of the genus FELIS. We have noticed it in the jaguar, royal tiger, panther, ocelot, hunting-leopard, and other species.