In the early hours of one late September morning, Anchorage-based photographer Tim Newton heard some pitter-pattering on his deck.
When Newton went to see what the fuss was, he noticed three kittens playing on the porch, which faces his backyard.
“I had the brief thought to go shoo them off so I could go back to sleep,” Newtown tells PawCulture, but he quickly realized these were no ordinary felines.
“I noticed the tufts on their ears and their huge feet, and it began to dawn on me that these were lynx kittens, not cats,” he says.
Luckily, Newton’s camera happened to be right near him and he was able to capture the incredible sighting.
In fact, the scene became even more astonishing as the rest of the lynx family, which included a mother and her seven kittens in total, made their way onto Newton’s porch and around his backyard.
Newton, who primarily does landscape photography in his native Alaska, began shooting and didn’t stop for the roughly 45 minutes the family “visited.”
“When they first filed onto the deck, one by one, I was standing motionless just a few feet away, behind the screen door. That is when I got the ‘family portrait’ of all eight lynx,” Newton says.
He says that while the cats heard the clicking of the camera, they realized it was not a threat and went about their business—that business, of course, being a whole lot of kitten play.
“By observing them up close I learned how immensely playful they are,” he says. “By all appearances to me, their lives—at least as kittens—must be filled with play. I’ve been telling folks they must spend 1% of their time chasing rabbits, and 99% chasing each other.”
Newtown’s close encounter has since gone viral, with people around the world being fascinated by the once-in-a-lifetime photo session. Newton describes his photos becoming an internet phenom as “fun, and a little educational.”
Newtown’s photos, including the now-famous back porch family of lynxes, are available to buy on his website.
Images via Tim Newton
Aly Semigran is a lifestyle writer for the world, and roommate of Ruby, the cutest dog in the world.