See You Around in the Neighborhood

This stare down between a mountain lion and a house cat happened last week, in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado. Here’s what they said:
Cat: Tough luck about that glass door, eh?
Mountain lion: Guess you won’t be coming out for fresh air anymore, eh?
Cat: I’m cool. I don’t mind mind watching Wild Kingdom from in here.
Mountain lion: What about your owner? She going to stay inside forever, too?
Cat: You don’t scare us!
Mountain Lion: Be seeing you”¦

You couldn’t pay me to live here, which is where the house is at. I’d be a nervous wreck anytime my boys played outside. The owner, however, was thrilled with the encounter and told the Denver Post:

I feel blessed

Yeah, I wonder how she’ll feel next time she spots the big kitty eyeballing her when she’s reading the paper on that lovely porch or walking to her car in the driveway.

(Photo: The Denver Post | Gail J. Loveman)

12 Responses to “See You Around in the Neighborhood”

  1. hunter says:

    Mountain Lions are a great way to reduce the feral cat and dog population. Mountain Lions appreciate the easy meals, and municipalities appreciate not having so many strays to pick up.
     

  2. Keith Kloor says:

    Forgot to tip my hat to Gaythia, who alerted me to this story.

    Also, folks, for many more cool pics, click on the Denver Post link and scroll down to the slide show. 

  3. Tom Gray says:

    Where I live mountain lines are quite rare. However bears, wolves and coyotes are quite common. However most of the people here are either descendants of early settlers or native Indians (or like me both). These people learned from their parents and grandparents for hundreds and thousands of years to live off the land. Wild game is part of the staple food supply here. The nub of this is that these people are part of nature. Nature is not an external ideal to them as it is for many greens who come from technologically advanced urban areas. The people here interact as part of nature daily. Because of this the relationship with predators like bears is quite different. People know not to leave their garbage out to attract bears but if a bear does raid a camp there will be no call for it to be airlifted to a safe site. It will be shot.

    So the mountain lion threatening a home is part of a urban narrative of nature separated from humanity and having to be protected. A green adherent does not live in nature. He/she lives apart from it.

  4. BBD says:

    Bloody hell Keith.
     
    There aren’t very many thinks that really make me glad I live in the UK, but the list has just got bigger.

  5. EdG says:

    BBD – Statistically, your chances of being harmed by a mt lion are almost nil – assuming you are an adult – and far lower than your chances of being harmed by an urban mugger or, even moreso, in a car accident.

    Those chances are increasing due to a growing mt lion pop and more tolerance of them, which increases the number of encounters and thus the odds – but they are still miniscule.

    However, like bear attacks, every mt lion attack becomes national if not international sensational news, and people have an exxagerated perception of this problem. Much like the TV generated perception of more violent crime when there is in fact less.

    This mt lion problem could be easily solved by applying the common sense that Tom Gray just described… but the Disney-brained urban majority, who don’t have to deal with the problem, stands in the way of common sense.

    It has been interesting to watch our culture go from being Bambi-brained (all predators are bad; save Bambi) to large predator-brained (all predators are good; let them eat Bambi). Seems swinging from one simplistic extreme to another is the way of the world these days.

    This whole Boulder scenario, and any like that, could be fixed in no time by one mt lion hunter and a pack of hounds. That is how it works around here when any mt lion becomes a problem (attacking livestock).

    If it was a human predator on their front porch or threatening their children, instead of a wild one, what would these people do?

  6. BBD says:

    EdG
     
    I do take your point. But for a Brit, the above image is strong stuff 😉
     
    I was being flippant, no more.

  7. EdG says:

    BBD

    Hooligans are more dangerous (flippant, but statistically true).

    But I do get your point. For anyone, including me – and we regularly have mt lions, black and grizzly bears, and wolves where we live – that image is very unsettling. That mt lion should not be there and they definitely do pose a danger to small people and some pets.

    With so many mt lions now – learning that they can safely live near humans – some individuals are bound to become problems like this one. (Again, it is simple probabilities combined with variable intelligent individuals.) Peaceful coexistence requires that these ‘bad’ individuals be eliminated but for benefit of the whole mt lion population. And since their presence in such areas is typically the product of population pressures pushing them out, these losses are biologically irrelevant. If they were still in high density population areas in the so-called wilderness, other cougars (primarily adult males) would kill these surplus individuals.

    The other half of this story is the deer population booms in suburbia – where human presence usually keeps predators away and the deer safe to multiply on the diverse vegetation there. Those prey pops now attract (protected) mt lions as well as wolves.

    Meanwhile, I see suggestions that wolves should be re-introduced to Scotland to control deer pops. Nice in romantic Disney-brained theory but a total disaster in the real world making, in a land as settled as that. Much simpler and more efficient to control deer overpops with human hunting… but I imagine that won’t fly in the UK anymore.

  8. lucia says:

    I see coyotes running around fairly often in winter. None have ever come up to the door and stared at the cat.

  9. Keith Kloor says:

    Lucia, 

    And they like coyote kibble, too. 🙂 

  10. D. Robinson says:

    I’ve seen coyotes too and they only look like big foxes or medium sized dogs 20 – 45 lbs.  Mountain Lions at 80 – 200 lbs, must be a whole different kettle of fish. 

  11. BBD says:

    EdG

    Meanwhile, I see suggestions that wolves should be re-introduced to Scotland to control deer pops. Nice in romantic Disney-brained theory but a total disaster in the real world making, in a land as settled as that. Much simpler and more efficient to control deer overpops with human hunting”¦ but I imagine that won’t fly in the UK anymore.

    First, you are of course correct about hooligans (we call them yobs over here) 😉

    I tend to agree with you about the proposed re-wilding in the Highlands. It will probably end in tears. Sheep farmers will kill any feral dog, never mind a pack, that attacks the flock. I’m mindful of the fact that wolves were exterminated in the UK centuries ago for presumably good reasons. Put another way, how much time did the Mediaeval farmer have to devote to recreational hunting?

    Despite <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/6317357.stm”>the hijacking of the issue by the aristocracy</a>, I suspect most of the work was not done by recreational killers.

  12. EdG says:

    BBD – For a preview of what could happen in Scotland, it is worth looking at what has happened in the western US since wolves were reintroduced – and there is far, far more wild space there than in Scotland.

    Another preview which you mentioned is their reaction to feral dogs. One could say that a wolf really is the most “feral dog.” Same species, different subspecies.

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