A few months ago, on a chilly Sunday afternoon while sitting in my comfy big chair by the pellet stove, I saw a critter just on the other side of our backyard fence. I said to my son, “That is a really fat house cat.” He looked outside the sliding door and shook his head, no. (He is non-speaking due to his disability). I looked again and decided it was the cougar I had seen while hiking up on the mountain behind our housing development.
It was now in the field directly outside our backyard. I’m used to seeing deer grazing their way through the neighborhood, and the occasional moose, but the cougar was more threatening. The neighborhood watch contacted the Washington Department of Fish and Game, but I have since seen the cougar, both in the back field and up in the mountain, so I’m not sure what action was taken by Fish and Game. The cougar has incentive to stick around, because the deer make delicious and consistent dinners.
I continue to hike in the mountain behind our housing area. My boyfriend, the dog and I have encountered the cougar a few more times, but it runs away from us and we change course as well.
It’s important for me to hike, and walking from my front door to get up into the mountain is convenient, exhilarating, and helps maintain my mental health. I’d like to think that the cougar and I can co-exist and enjoy what nature has provided us.
I understand and respect that we’re in the cougar’s wilderness area and mean the cougar no harm. It’s a beautiful creature and I’m in awe every time I see it.
However, I’m not in awe when I see deer ticks. Spring is just around the bend, and the danger of deer tick bites is upon us. Sure, I can see the little buggers crawling around on my skin and clothes, it’s the ticks I can’t see that worry me. I’m not keen on contracting Lyme disease, which has been diagnosed in people I know here in Washington state.
Since spring is around the bend, and deer ticks come out to play just like everyone else, I am armed against them now with a product called “Sawyer Permethrin Pump Spray.” You spray it on your clothes, let it dry for a couple of hours, put your clothes on, and head into the woods. Apparently it lasts up to six weeks and is non-toxic. Below are two websites regarding this product.
Happy hiking, happy mental health, and happy to ya!