by Lillian Csernica on June 18th, 2017
See this? This is a mountain lion. A cougar. A puma.
They can be 5 to 9 feet long and weigh 100 to 150 lb. They can run 40 to 50 miles per hour and jump up to 20 feet high. They’re also excellent at climbing.
This was in my back yard yesterday, in broad daylight.
As soon as I saw the big cat crossing our creek, I yelled up the stairs to my husband. We have three housecats, and I wanted all of them accounted for right then.
My husband came down. I told him what I’d seen. He asked me if I was sure. Hell yes I was sure! Back when I was 19, I spent a summer in Larkspur, Colorado working the local Renaissance Faire. Many of us lived on site during the week, including the tiger tamer and his menagerie. “Tiger tamer” isn’t really fair, because Bhaghavan treated his cats with the utmost respect and care.
That included the mountain lion. One day he took the mountain lion out for a walk and passed by where I was sitting. Bhaghavan brought the mountain lion over. The big cat promptly flopped down across my feet and started to purr.
Believe me when I tell you there was NO WAY I was going to rub that tummy!
So yes, I do know a mountain lion when I see one.
Mountain lions are normally reclusive and avoid human habitation. To see one walking past my house in full view was both a marvel and a huge surprise. I believe the mountain lion was following a deer trail. It disappeared into the tree line on the other side of the creek.
We found our gray and white cat Hunter under the car. Rayas, the torby, was curled up on a lawn chair, apparently asleep. And Coco, the fluffy black longhair, was up a tree. Smart cat, Coco.
Yes, it’s wonderful to live in the mountains among the California coastal redwoods. Getting close to Nature is important. It’s also important to remember that Nature is perfectly capable of sneaking up on us!