Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Cougar

The couple who take care of the neighbors house were here late, cutting the tops off the dandelions, since no grass has grown.  I went out to chat with them.  I told them what I learned yesterday, that the house will be auctioned off at the sheriff's auction in early December.   I said "Why don't you buy it?".  I like them.

"Hell no," was their reply.  They couldn't stand living in a cul de sac, they said.  I said it is concrete and car land.  They laughed.  They said they live out in the hills above West Fir.  I said "Oh?  I have friends who live up that way."  They told me the road and I said I knew someone on that road, way up in the middle of pretty much nowhere.  They asked who and I told them and said she took in two cats from me.  Turns out, she lives right across the road from them.  Small world.

She did take in two cats.  Almost two years ago.  A young black girl and a calico, from the Lebanon colony.

"Oh no," the guy said. We live right across the street from her.  She'd coming tearing across screaming that there was a cougar after her cats, in her garage no less, tearing at cages she'd put as many in as she could when she found one dead and eaten INSIDE her fenced huge yard.   She didn't know what had gotten to it, so she'd tried to get the rest safe, by putting them in cages and kennels, but the cougar was in there tearing at the cages to get at them.  He'd killed at least four and eaten them.

The guy rushed over with a gun.  The cougar by this time had disappeared.  It was dark.  She had some high grass and he went into and ran into that cougar from 20 feet.  He killed him with one shot.

The age was judged to be about 13.  The cougar had come over her tall fence without a problem.  It's wood, with the cross pieces on the outside.  Made it easy.  The cats can't get out but the cougar could get in.

That had to be terribly traumatic on an animal lover like her, not only that many cats were killed and eaten, but the whole thing, seeing that, a cougar, in her garage area, tearing at the cages inside of which were absolutely terrified screaming cats.  Can you imagine?  I can't.

I can't get ahold of her.  Maybe I shouldn't try.  To think the two I took up there may have been torn apart and eaten that way, I just can't handle it.  I don't know they were among the victims. I took them there.  I feel terrible, awful, but it wasn't her fault.  Now it's up to her to make the survivors safe from this happening again, however.

The bad thing is, the guy says he's seen another cougar, behind his house, which is right across the street from her place.  The guys dog got torn up too.  He thought he'd taken care of the problem big cat until he saw another afterwards.

I didn't ask when this happened.  I assume, but don't know for sure, within the last month.  My heart goes out to the woman, who loves animals.  My heart goes out to those dead kitties.    It's just terrible all around.  I know that cougar, old like that, couldn't hunt deer anymore, so he turned to going after house cats. I'm glad he's dead.  I'm glad my friend didn't get torn to pieces coming in on something like that.

I remember when I lived in that shack outside Corvallis when not a mile a way a cougar was seen by a delivery person.  I freaked out, because I had the cat yard.  Sure it was over topped in wire, but nothing that would stop a cougar.  I began getting them all in at night until I felt the threat had passed.  I also reinforced the top over wire so nothing could get through.  Her yard is too big to top over.  Maybe she'll have to partition it up and make something more secure for the cat area, or eventually, they'll all get eaten that way.

I can't even look at the photos of those two cats I took up there.  Probably won't be able to again.


  1. That is beyond awful.
    I am so very sorry.
    For the cats, for her, for you. And for the cougar.

  2. How awful. How about just writing her a note offering some comforting thoughts.

  3. What a horrible scene for all involved. But I can stand to hear about this story more than some others you tell because the cougar was acting on natural instinct and the problems were not caused by not willful human neglect.

    1. It's true, this was just one of those no fault things. Something that happens. Tragic, yes, but just one of those things.

  4. What a sad, lose/lose situation. My heart goes out to all involved.

    1. Yup, sad all around I found out when my friend called me, that the cats she took in from me were not among those killed by the cougar. Some measure of relief flooded me. I felt for her, to lose her cats that way, but she is one who loves all animals. The cougar's death would also have bothered her. But she had resolved the dilemma's by now in her mind and although it was traumatic, I think she is at peace with it. She is very grateful the neighbors were home and came rushing over to help and that Brandon is a very good shot. the cougar died instantly.