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 than "Great Cats.

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 laughter.

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.

Cougar Head Study
Cougars in the Snow
Cougar Moms
Cougars in Action
Cougar Humor
Mesa the Cougar