Cat Scratch Fever

So, it's Saturday night, 10:30 pmish, I'm in the basement watching a DVD, and I hear some pounding on the plastic cover that lies across one of my window wells. (Note: Almost all Colorado homes have basements, and to let in light, the builder digs a hole about three feet deep (in my case) next to the basement footing and you call it a window well, and that's where the basement window is installed.) I pound back on the inside of the window, and yell my usual, 'Hey cats, knock it off' message. Then I go upstairs, get a flashlight, figuring it could be one of my cats so I better have a look.

I exit the house through my back slider door, which opens onto a deck, then go down the stairs into the darkness of the back yard. I approach the corner of the house where the window well is, shining my flashlight in that direction. I find a cat there alright, except it's a mountain lion, aka cougar, and he's lying on my rocks next to the window well. His ears are flattened and he looks at me like he's been there all his life and those are his rocks, not mine, and you know this reaction called fight or flight, well, I had the second part of it--which is not what you are supposed to do when you see a mountain lion, you are supposed to not run but stand tall and act threatening and back away slowly, and cause the mountain lion to go away--anyways, as I say, I had the flight reaction and was up my deck stairs and in the house in about .5 second.

The other interesting thing is that before I replaced this window well cover--the first one broke about eight months ago--I was noticing scat at the bottom of the well and wondering just what animal was making it. Hadn't occurred to me, even though we have had sightings of mountain lions in the neighborhood, that it was a mountain lion. I have no idea why he's making use of my window well to mark his area, but with two little kids, I don't need to find out why.

I'm also missing one of my cats since Saturday night.

I've called the local Division of Wildlife to see what I can do. The cat (actually, multiple cats) has been sighted elsewhere in the neighborhood, once at 10 in the morning, just hanging out in a gully/culvert about 100 yards from my house in some rural property. DOW says to create a mixture of moth balls, stuffed into panty hose, and soak in Pinesol, let them soak until they are very gooey, then spread them around the site. Looks like I'll be making a trip to the store here for all those ingredients.

Comments:

Geez, where is Colorado do you live? My wife wants to move there, but not your neighborhood.

Posted by Jon Logan on September 25, 2007 at 12:34 PM MDT #

Oh yeah, I should have mentioned occasional bear visits, as well as the foxes that have moved into the neighborhood. And coyotes. Oh yes, coyotes.

This is in Colorado Springs. Fact of the matter is that urban human developments are encroaching upon wildlife habitats all over. I have Safeway three blocks away and a many acre park behind me, which connects to the foothills. So it's inevitable that we are going to cross paths with the native beasts.

Posted by Joe Sciallo on September 26, 2007 at 02:31 AM MDT #

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