Sunday, May 29, 2011

~ Haunting Cries ~

Before hearing them I never would have guessed that any mammal would scare me enough to the point where I could almost scream myself. Cougars are no laughing matter, I assure all my readers. I developed an odd mixture of fear and interest back in late December…

Mom had to walk the dog so Sara stayed on the deck to keep watch. For two reasons. - 1) because we had heard coyotes in our woods the night before and seen their tracks the next morning and 2) because there had been signs of a cougar in the neighborhood. After a couple of minutes, Mom noticed that Crockett was pointed at one spot in the woods: The pit where we dumped our left-overs. It was snowing and too dark to see all the way to the edge of the woods but she knew he had seen/heard something. Then a strange sound came from the pit - a deep grumbling growl mixed with a steady purr. The rest of us were inside and heard Mom shout for Sara to get in the house. Mom took me out to stay on the deck and listen. Then I heard it. And I am telling you it was the scariest sound I had ever heard! It was right over by the pit, but no matter how hard I strained I couldn't see a thing. That is the worst situation to be in - to hear a cougar but not see it. The growling purr lasted for around 3o seconds, long enough for us to realize that it sounded as if the cougar was walking as it growled, puffing in the cold night air.

To read that entire story…

This evening I heard it again. Not a scream, growl or purr like I had heard before but a piercing shriek ringing out through the chilly night air.

Here is a bit of information on the cougar that I read from a book published in 1940 ---

“…Once within striking distance, it bounds forward and crushes it’s prey to earth. It has been known to leap twenty feet into the air to land on a branch and to jump twice that distance to the ground.
The great cat promptly begins to gorge itself. When sated, [satisfied] it delicately licks it’s blood-spattered face and paws and goes off for a nap. On awakening it returns to finish off the carcass or, if the prey is too large, drags it to a lair among the rocks.”

Now you see why it is no laughing matter!

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