When I was a kid I fantasized about having
my own big cat. My first choice was a tiger. Then for some reason
I switched to cougars when I was about fourteen (the term Puma
was in vogue then) and that's been my big cat of choice since.
Pumas are cool. Only much later did I find out that cougars are
actually "Lesser Cats" rather
Besides size one of the main distinctions is that lesser cats don't
roar (but they do purr). One consolation is that cougars are the
largest of the lesser cats.
For about two years I had the privilege of sharing a twenty acre
tract of land with a cougar. I don't know if he actually denned
there or if my land just happened to be a relatively safe part
of his overall territorial range. I never actually got to see the
cat but I'm more than sure he saw me.
On several occasions I came across his tracks in muddy areas and
they were just starting to fill in with water. He was probably
back in the bush watching me trying to find him and dying of cougar
I always assumed it was a male because of the size of the tracks
and how far he sank into the mud that he walked on compared to
me. Each of his paws covered about sixty percent of one of my size
twelve's and he sank into the mud almost as deep as I. I figured
him to go about one hundred twenty pounds.
In the two years I tracked him I also never saw any indication
of little cat tracks like I would have expected from a female
with a cub or two.
Over the years I've managed to accumulate a number of photos of
cougars from various sources. They are organized in themes and
if you click on the pictures to the right you'll open up albums
of those themes.