When you hear animals creeping along your porch, you think stray dogs or cats are probably responsible — or maybe a bold raccoon. You don't think it's going to be a mother lynx and her family of seven kittens.
But such was the case for Tim Newton when he awoke to the sound of paws on his deck Wednesday morning. The Anchorage man thought it was cats, but he didn't think it would be, well, big cats.
"I crept over to the window and opened the curtains a crack, and could see it looked like a cat," he told Anchorage's KTUU.
"I started to think nothing more of it," he said. "But then I noticed it had really big feet and little tiny hairs on its ears. So I knew then it was probably a lynx kitten — not a full grown cat."
Newton, a professional photographer, naturally reached for his camera to capitalize on the the rare opportunity to photograph the cats.
"Normally when you see a lynx, you have just enough time to get your camera out, and then they're gone. So I was thrilled I could get a couple pictures of them playing on the deck. And I thought that might be the end of it."
It was not the end of it.
Newton followed the cats to the other side of the porch, where the rest of the kits and their mother sauntered out of the nearby woods and onto his deck. That's when he snapped the family portrait.
"They're kind of confused that there might be anything near, because I'm behind the screen," explained Newton. "But they can hear my camera. That's that one picture where you see them on the deck. They're looking at the noise."
The cats played on the deck for about 40 minutes before their mom ushered them back into the woods.
"I've concluded from this that lynx must spend about 1 percent of their time chasing rabbits, and 99 percent of their time chasing each other," Newton joked.
Enjoy the photos below and if you want to see more of Newton's photo session with the lynx, check out his Facebook page.