Feline thoughts

“Mountain lions are psychological animals, preying on the mind with secret cat eyes. They know that they still dominate, that they cannot be cornered without ripping their way out. They know that they are still the heart of fierceness. Being pack animals ourselves, we humans have some alliances with other pack animals, like wolves or coyotes. When I see a wolf, I feel as if we could sit down and talk, given that the details had been worked out. Not so with the cat. The cat speaks in symbols …

“The mountain lions have not learned, like the wolf, to get the hell of the land or, like the coyote, to eat poodles and drink out of street gutters. They have an odd, powerful dignity that does not understand the endless catches and snags of the human race …

“A coyote or a bear will know when a person has a gun, and will often behave much differently. But the mountain lion is a creature with too great a nature to see a gun or knife. It is so focused that the rest of the world goes silent. When a lion is killed, it is a strange death, like something stolen from an animal that should be impervious to weaponry …”

The Animal Dialogues, Craig Childs

The whole essay on the Mountain Lion, Puma concolor is shivery and worth reading. As, for different reasons, is the one on Ravens, Corvus corvax. Working my way through this book slowly, and out of order, as the author recommends.

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