I dropped by my brother’s place on my way home on Friday night. I found the path from the parking area to his place littered with spent shell casings, not a usual occurrence. I picked up about half a dozen of them.
I was greeted by Rio, who was making dinner, and my brother, who was sitting with his hands resting on our grandfather’s cane, much as Hoho used to do. The cane has a brass plate from his American Legion. It was nice to see it and know that Jonathan could use it, but not so nice to know that he had messed up his knee trying to shoot a particularly obnoxious mountain lion.
Apparently this lion has been making a nuisance of himself lately. He makes a peculiar screaming noise, and is completely unconcerned by light and human habitation. Jonathan shone the flashlight right in his eyes and the beast didn’t flinch. My brother fired a couple of rounds over the lion’s head, and he didn’t retreat.
This was the scariest part to me. This creature was deliberately hanging around human habitation instead of avoiding it, and not fleeing from bright lights or loud noises. Rio thinks there might be something wrong with this particular intruder. Jonathan finally shot right at the animal, which is always a last resort, but it’s hard to shoot with any accuracy in the dark, since you need both hands for the rifle and don’t have an extra one for the flashlight.
Eventually the monster retreated into the bushes, but I am horrified by the fact that he is skulking around and also that Clayton and Rio’s daughter Paloma camped out in the garden lately with the monster loitering with intent.
Jonathan did something to his knee pivoting the wrong way in his haste to chase the mountain lion, so he is still crutching around, cursing the mountain lion. Jonathan and Rio were planning to go for a hike on his birthday, which is this Saturday, but unless he has a miraculous recovery, it looks like he will still be caning and crutching around for now.
I contacted a dear friend who is wise in the ways of the wilderness, and he shared some tips for ridding your property of unwanted wildlife, which I passed on to my appreciative brother. Jonathan has contacted Fish and Game to see if they would be willing to do some mountain lion removal, but we don’t know what their criteria are to do this, or how long it will take them to respond.
In the meantime, we are being cautious. I guess this is the side of country life that you don’t read about in Martha Stewart.
A YEAR AGO: A run in (though fortunately not a run over) with a deer.