Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The New Kitty on the Block

Now we don't live on the edge of the world, but you can certainly see it from here. Just hold your hand over your eyes to stop the glare of the sun and look west. It's there. That fact was brought home to me very recently because a cougar seems to have moved into our community.

No, I don't mean a middle-aged woman with a taste for tanning beds, martinis and 20-something pool boys. I mean a mountain lion. One of those big cats that you see in the movies perched on a cliff getting ready to pounce on you as you walk by. A wild cat.

Apparently one of our neighbors heard a strange sound - almost like a woman screaming - one day last week. He went to investigate and found a mountain lion just a few miles from home. It had apparently been injured, but he didn't stick around long enough to find out how.

Now I'm really freaked out - do I dare let MY livestock out anymore? Will my kitties and dogger be somebody's afternoon snack? I've watched enough National Geographic to know you should fear anything nicknamed the "mountain screamer."

Strangely enough the subject of mountain lions had come up in conversation at fellowship after church a few Sundays ago. One of the people sitting at our table stated: "You don't want to mess with a mountain lion. If you run from them they'll attack. If you see them bounding on their haunches, it's already too late. You're lunch. It's better to turn and stare down the critter. Charge and throw rocks if necessary."

The thought of intimidating a 160-pound killing machine with a nasty glare and a handful of pebbles didn't seem conducive to survival to me.

I guess my chances of bumping into a cougar amid the flatlands of western Minnesota have recently increased. So now - besides sauteing myself with DEET to ward off West Nile virus and Lyme disease - I must also prepare for a possible puma attack while working in my back yard. You see, our property fronts the river along which the mountain lion was first seem.

It's a jungle out there. I envision one of these fierce cats eyeing me from behind a tree and thinking: "Mmmm, spiral-cut ham (me), brisket (Daisy the German Shepherd) and Vienna Sausages (my kitties, Lucy & Simon). An all-you-can-eat-buffet!"

In the meantime I'll continue to consider ways on how to best protect myself in case of a wild cat attack. First on the list is to get rid of the bacon perfume!!

Love Lena


Susan said...

Love your humorous report, but indeed, this is a serious situation. I think man has brought this all on himself. Cutting down on the hunting allowed, being tolerant of animals in the wild, etc. When we are in Montana, we are always aware of the wildlife. In fact, as the Trout was coming out of a river from fishing, a car waved him down saying there was a grizzly in the water ahead of him. We also have bears getting into garbage that has not been locked in a shed, etc. There is a reason to hunt. If we don't, we will be overrun with these wild animals. They are no longer endangered, we are.

Susan said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. We are, right now, in Big Sky, south of Bozeman. We leave tomorrow and angle our way up to Georgetown Lake where we spend the summer. It is between Anaconda and Missoula, in the SW part of state. It is beautiful. Wait until I show you pictures of Georgetown Lake and the mountains.

Linda up north said...

How about the old "they are more afraid of you than you are of them"??? That is the thought I would go with (don't tell me it is wrong!!) if I was out in my garden in cougar country.... yes sir, that is exactly what I think: they are more afraid of me than I am of them... repeat, repeat :)

Carolyn said...

That is too scary. I'm pretty sure I'd be keeping myself and my pets indoors until that cat is caught. They ARE looking for it, right? Stay safe! P.S. I totally agree about getting rid of the bacon perfume. There's no reason to tempt fate.

Paula said...

That is scary. Having lost a cat to a coyote, I can empathize, although the coyote doesn't attack humans...Is suppose I'd rather have a coyote than a puma in my neighborhood. I thought of you when I saw the ad for The Church Basement Ladies...I can't wait.