Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to Trap a Mountain Lion

I first heard his unearthly screams piercing the night like a wraith, and when I saw his tracks the next morning...right at my back porch... my worst fears were confirmed: a mountain lion had appeared outside my home. Perhaps I'd get lucky and the big cat would simply move on. But that night I again heard a terrible commotion on the back porch. Paralyzed with fear, I drew the covers over my head and waited for the carnage to stop. Eventually, all was quiet, but sleep was a long time coming that night. What terrible scene would the dawn bring?

Morning brought the grisly answer strewn across the porch like some macabre set-piece: my wife's suet feeders murdered, dismembered, their partially eaten remains torn and scattered. They never stood a chance against the beast. Tears welling in my eyes, I cried "this is too much. This will not stand." Suddenly, I knew what I had to do: I would trap the great beast, this supreme predator, this monster of nightmare that even today haunts the darkest recesses of Man's ancestral memory.

On the third night of my ordeal I set out the trap, poured myself a cup of coffee, and waited, waited....and then he came like a wisp of smoke there and yet not there, a spectral vision drawn to the delectable scent of the Fancy Feast Grilled Ocean Whitefish and Tuna Feast in Gravy (which, I'm told, is ambrosia to mountain lions).

My hands trembled, my eyes widened, and when the trap door slammed on his ample arse I knew my nightmare was over, my Grendel had finally been slain (Figuratively speaking of course. The lawyers have forced me to disclose that no actual mountain lion was harmed in the telling of this story...).

As I sat there marveling at the great cat's sheer untamed wildness, I recalled the words of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who once famously opined that "battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes also into you."

At the time I thought he was just a crazy old demented German dude, but when I saw this story, suddenly I knew exactly what he meant. I had joined a select fraternity. I had gazed into the abyss, battled the monster, and lived to tell about.

Now the question is, what do I do with this mountain lion?


  1. One of the worst, most adaptable predators I know of and no friend of mine. Kill it.

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  3. Someone in japan will give you $$ for that fella!
    Which poses the question
    What are the ethics of such a transaction?

  4. How about just letting it go. Always amazes me that we humans glorify our own survival/subsistence rights, but refuse to grant those same freedoms to the animals who 'inconvenience' us, but have as much right to the land as we do.

    1. You say that now, but what will you think when one of those "animals" grabs your son! Mauls his face! And, then comes back for your livestock. Inconvenience you say???? or "Eye for an Eye!!!"

    2. That's right why not let one loose in your back yard with your kids playing and then talk about inconveniencing us?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Actually, Anon, this snarling menace was set free with a stern admonishment to not come back. He's a young one I've trapped several times and he's become pretty laid-baick about the whole thing.

    While I have no problem at all with trapping, I decided when we built this house that from a philosophical and ethical standpoint I didn't think it fair to invade their habitat, set up shop and then declare everything that was here prior to my arrival a nuisance.

    So I think it only fair that I adapt to them. I have a social contract of sorts with the animals around my house, and the occasional raided suet feeder, the eaten flower garden, is the price I pay for their company.

    Maybe the blog post wasn't as tongue-in-cheek as I thought...

  6. Anonymous, how about you identify yourself and put a name behind your brave comment?

    Chad, he sounds like one of those bass that just gets caught over and over.

    I kinda feel the same way about all the critters in my neighborhood.

    But I do draw some lines. Black widows die, period (and we have a lot here). If my cat susses out a rat and doesn't finish it off, I will, because I do NOT want them anywhere near my house. I used to raise rats and know they are just as awful as humans in terms of their destructiveness. Besides, they have a field behind us and a dedicated portion of our yard where they're welcome to do anything they want.

    If we had snakes here (we don't), they'd be allowed to live anywhere. Except rattlers, who are not allowed to be near the house, ever.

    My policy is simple: I reserve the right to defend my space against things that can wreck my house, or kill or sicken me. I am a member of the biotic community, and while I think the human popoulation is way out of control, I'm not going to surrender to potential foes and competitors.

    But the 'coon? Yeah, I'd let him go too. That "Oh, shit, busted again" look on his face is priceless.

  7. Eat 'im.

    For Anonymous: That was tongue-in-cheek.

  8. Well that is a strange looking lion mountain, maybe it is a cub just looking for mom.

  9. Skin him hes worth $10 or so on the fur market.

  10. I'd let him go.............unless he's in MY garden.