She’s a neighbour, if you count being within twenty miles by boat neighbourly. But we are also friends and we know her. Quite the woman. Slim, slightly taller than average. Strong like bull. Great attitude. F is in her late 50’s but she lives the life of a twenty five year old. Hiking in Nepal. Working crew on a large boat during the summer. OTG’er. Keeping a large family close, together and functioning extremely well. There is not much F can’t do and there is a helluva lot she has done. The whole family is a real life, modern day Swiss Family Robinson only tougher, more capable and the daughters are prettier.
The other day, she left her house for a short walk through the forest to the narrows near her island to take some photographs of the raging tide flow and rips occurring due to the extremely high tides this time of year. She had a hiking stick, like ski-pole, that she probably used to steady the camera on as much as assist her in hiking. A good-sized dog, belonging to one of her grown children accompanied her. When she got to the expected site, she took some pictures and sat for a minute on a rocky ledge.
The dog went nuts. But dogs do that kind of thing and F ignored it for a second and then, turning to look for the reason found herself face to face with a large male cougar. She was quite amazed by the size of the big cat’s head. That it was snarling and moving toward her was also somewhat attention-getting and so she got up, pointed her hiking stick and jabbed. The cat advanced a few steps. The dog continued it’s canine hysterics – not that the other two bothered to notice – and the cat snarled and hissed and continued forward.
F tried to puff herself up to look larger in her brightly coloured Gore-tex outfit. No sense in ignoring fashion when confronting cougars, eh? But Gore-tex doesn’t fluff up all that well and F probably does not weigh 120 pounds soaking wet. She impresses me all to hell but not because she is intimidating. I’m impressed because she is so capable in so many ways.
And, I am right. It turns out she has a bit of lion tamer in her, as well. As the big cat slowly advanced, so did F. They were coming together. She poked and jabbed, yelled loudly and sounded as aggressive as she could. She puffed up and gave no ground. The cat snarled but stopped. And F snarled back.
The big cougar saw something in the unfolding scene that suggested discretion might be the better part of valour and slowly backed down. That decision was made a little easier by F slowly advancing and not giving an inch. And the Great Pyrenees-border collie was starting to break the big cat’s concentration. Time to leave.
The cat turned and ran with the dog nipping and yelping at his heels. Both disappeared into the bush. F walked home. I am guessing rather quickly but knowing F, she may have stopped for a photograph if something beautiful caught her eye.
Half-way home the dog appeared at her side none the worse for wear.
So, just a walk in the park for F. A brief encounter with danger for the cougar. Lesson learned; don’t mess with a woman, her dog and her stick.