The purr of a Cougar

One of the things that I enjoy about rainy weekends is the ability to just lay low.

When I am not reading, I’m thinking about things to write about. Characters pop into my head and tell me stories, though so far I’ve not been able to piece any of them together as they seem so unrelated that to patch them together would make what probably would be an ugly story.

yang070714Have I blogged about how my cats help me with story ideas? Yang is especially productive. She warns me with her sharp claws that stillness on my part is mandatory, though typically her reminders are just a gentle paw to my face, though other times I have to hold her paws until her claws have retracted. Catapuncture to the face is not something I call soothing and relaxing.

Listening to her purr and only to her purrs, trying to chase out the noises of the house, of the wind outside, of the babble in my head. The to-do’s, the did’s, and the won’t get to’s. Again. Sometimes a little dribble of purr juice will drip on my face, which usually is followed by a good face rub. Maybe Yang drool is more like a magic potion that has to be rubbed in by her face for effective results.

To only be able to hear the purr of a cougar came to mind. One my favorite animals. I could put it on my bucket list. Wait a minute. I do believe I have heard a cougar purr.

tirwinI’ve told this story about meeting Terri Irwin, though she wasn’t the wife of the Crocodile Hunter. Terri Raines lived in Eugene, right down the road from me off of River Road. I don’t remember how I came to be at her house or who introduced us. She had a cougar; she told me that the cougar had been used in a Disney film and after they were done with the cougars, they released them to the wild. Problem was the young cougars never had any wild in them. Two starved to death and the third was taken in and used as an educational animal.

What I hadn’t thought about for a while was hearing the cougar’s purring while under Terri’s care; she was probably rubbing it behind an ear or two and my longing to do the same. I also remember watching the cougar while in it’s enclosure watch another one of Terri’s ward’s. A brain-damaged racoon that didn’t know enough to stay away from the cougar. Whether the cougar wanted to eat the coon or merely play with it, but it looked upon the stumbling creature with such intensity, flexing it’s great paws that were blocked from stretching out. Was the flick of the tail suggesting, “I wish. I wish. I wish.”

I didn’t have to wish for this experience to happen. Back in the early 80s, I had never heard of a bucket list, though what twenty-something has, or if they have, started to compile a laundry list of things to do before one dies. Yang has caused me to wonder how many of those things on my list have already happened.



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