A family of cougars are in the area. I feel he is waiting for me. The hairs on my neck raised a few days ago when I saw him hustle across the road into the forest.
“Don’t go walking alone,” warned a neighbor soon after. I saw out my window a deer rushing out the woods into the meadow. He had no tail. I thought that was odd and as I watched, I saw why. A cougar was chasing him until he spied a newborn calf and went to take it down. This is one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen. He was at least three fence posts in length from his head to his long tail.”
Martha, Rose, Delores and others do go walking along Cedar Creek Road on Monday and Friday mornings. It’s safety in numbers if I do have the yen to join them. In my Western novel, Rusty Springs, I tell of a cougar stalking the main character along a mountain road.
You may not see them. But you feel their presence. A friend told us that he was similarly stalked one early spring when hunting. When he felt he was being followed, he spied tracts in the snow and knew it was up ahead waiting for him. As he came around the mountain trail, he saw the glint of his yellow eyes behind a fallen log and knew just where to aim his rifle.
These beautiful beasts have bad eye sight so if one if near, be as tall and as wide, with wide-spread arms as possible. Their strong hind quarters and legs give them the ability to leap to the top of a tree or two-story building. They are aware that they must not face a prey that can hurt them. They must feed themselves. Instead, they patiently wait for prey and then come up behind them and leap upon their prey’s neck and break it.
In this forested area near the Canadian border in Eastern Washington, still considered to be a wild place, it’s common to see bobcats, bear, wolves, coyote and cougar. It was a bear, however, not a cougar which one by one snatched all eight chickens from their fenced area last fall. He broke their wooden coup and returned several times until he had all of them.