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I'm lagging in the polls, but it's early days. Poll closes Sunday evening. Click through and VOTE!! Thank you!

The Real LJ Idol Week 31

* So, we've been hearing a woman screaming in the night. And when you live in the deep, dark woods that can only mean one thing - mountain lion mating season. It's a very distinctive sound, this screaming and it wakes you from the deepest sleep and leaves you thankful that you're inside in a warm bed beneath the covers. LittleDog has been inside because he knows not his true size, and WolfDog is outside where he prowls around the house and reminds the deer to be respectful of his alpha status. The other morning we got up early, around 5:30, and when we let LittleDog out, he and Z took off and within moments had a critter treed about thirty feet from the house. Then we heard a terrible noise and both of us looked at one another and just assumed it was LittleDog. D got his gun and went out to deal with the dogs. Seconds later he was back in the house, out of breath, telling me we had to get both dogs inside because they had treed a mountain lion. This was our first lion. The sound we had heard was the protestation of the lion. We got the dogs in the house and then D went back out to see if a mountain lion is smarter than a house cat and nope, still up the tree. I quietly followed and I'm here to tell you that this is one of the scariest animals on earth. I had no ability whatsoever to take a picture or to do anything other than back up quickly, get inside, and shut the door. D had a flashlight and the critter's eyes were GLOWING and it definitely had us in its sights! We watched this massive cat back down the tree and from about ten feet above the ground it leapt sideways and disappeared into the underbrush. We were giddy with disbelief and relief.

The longer WolfDog lives with us the more I begin to understand why our ancestors tamed wolves and brought them into their families. I don't think there's any animal on earth that isn't afraid of this strange mix of pet and predator.

Later that day a flock of buzzards was circling overhead and when we hiked deeper into the woods, just past where the cat had been treed, the smell of death was overwhelming. I didn't want to find whatever it was. I'm assuming one of our twin fawns, maybe. But that probably explains why the lion was on the property and not a'courtin' down the ridge side.

If you haven't seen it, this is crazy -


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2017 05:34 pm (UTC)
Holy shit, that sounds like an encounter both terrifying and amazing! :O
Sep. 15th, 2017 06:25 pm (UTC)
Beautiful creatures, but wild, wild, wild.

D be braver than me, even in my dreams.
Sep. 15th, 2017 06:37 pm (UTC)
I voted for you! I haven't been leaving comments because a couple of weeks ago I fell and broke my leg, but I haven't forgotten you!
Sep. 15th, 2017 07:39 pm (UTC)
Voted yesterday!

Yikes, glad that you and D and the dogs are all okay -- I love mountain lions, but wouldn't want to get an up-close view without bars between us!

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:47 pm (UTC)
The people who made that video are D-U-M-B. "Hey, a mountain lion! Let's stand here and film it like a bunch of morons! Oops, now we're mauled."
Sep. 15th, 2017 11:39 pm (UTC)
See this is why I'm so glad we moved from our last rental. I did not like living next to a cougar. At all.

I'm glad your close encounter didn't involve a trip to the emergency room.

And you reminded me of this story of an entire mall full of low hanging fruit. http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/14/aspen-bear-selfie-warning/

I mean REALLY??

Edited at 2017-09-15 11:41 pm (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2017 01:01 am (UTC)

Woah, how cool and how scary, all at the same time! Glad both your dogs and the cougar were unharmed.

So true about why we ever started feeding the wolves and letting them share our blankets. They're very useful, as well as being adorable. It's hard to even picture what our species would have been like if we'd never had dogs.

Check out this video of a mama cougar fighting off a bear: https://youtu.be/bonk3tQqXj4

(There's a glitch in the commenting here; I had to edit to code the paragraphing by hand.)

Edited at 2017-09-16 01:05 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2017 06:12 pm (UTC)
well that's terrifying! kind of cool, but terrifying. i'm glad it didn't attack the dogs or you or d, but still, yikes.
Sep. 18th, 2017 08:14 pm (UTC)
WHAT? WTF is wrong with whoever took that video?

You don't pursue a mountain lion up a trail! You back down far, far away and you change your plans for the day. Especially going around a blind corner-- that cougar is faster, stronger, and more motivated than you are, because you are potential food. :O

/o\ No words.

I'm glad you and the dogs escaped harm from the one at your place, though. Wow.

Edited at 2017-09-18 08:17 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )