Kuma’s Great Adventures

Kuma’s Great Adventures

Mountain Lion attacks in Tramonto

Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

Being on the north end of Phoenix certainly has its advantages. We tend to be a little cooler than downtown, and we don’t usually get the haboobs or dust storms. We have lots of wonderful open space—although mom says that will be changing as the state is selling off massive amounts to pay teachers—and I love our starry nights. All of this led my parents to purchase our home here in Tramonto, and we are enjoying our fifth summer here.

Because we aren’t overbuilt yet, we have a lot of wildlife. Mom just loves all the roadrunners, and we have quail everywhere. I personally like the bunnies. I sniff them out and then notify my mom of their presence. I leave them alone because life outside in the desert is difficult enough without some dog chasing them. Recently, we stumbled upon two Javalinas. They are ugly beasts—and mean, too. We turned to go the other way, and they left us alone. We were grateful.

Mom and I have been followed by coyote packs. That always makes us nervous. I can see in their eyes that I look like a snack to them! I know animals are just trying to survive, but when a bobcat tried to come into my yard once, I wouldn’t have it. I let it know under no circumstances was it welcome here. Woof!

Let me warn you now: what I’m about to share is extremely sad. Unfortunately, it is a true story. Recently, our neighbor behind us saw a mountain lion in his backyard. Their cat was in the swimming pool trying to evade it. No such luck. Both mountain lion and cat ended up on our shared brick wall. When the cat jumped into our yard, it ran to our boat for safety. The mountain lion followed, and I won’t share the graphic details of what took place next. Suffice it to say our boat cover was completely shredded and destroyed, and when me and my mom went outside, we found Manilow dead.

Mom had just babysat for Manilow when her humans were out of town for Memorial Day. Manilow looked a lot like my brother, Edmond, so seeing her dead was alarming. Her scent was different, so I wasn’t confused, but it was still unsettling. She was a beautiful black cat with awesome eyes. She was also a mamma, and we don’t know the fate of her kittens. I had to sniff out the entire crime scene, and it is exactly as told. Thankfully, the mountain lion killed Manilow in one bite, so she didn’t suffer. What I don’t understand is why Manilow was left and not eaten? If you can explain that to me, I’d appreciate it. Death to live is life in the wild, but killing to kill doesn’t sit right with me. Anyway, we wrapped her up for our neighbors so they could bury her properly. We paid our respects and said a little prayer.

Please humans: Remember, we live in wild area. All these creatures were here first and are just trying to live. If you have small to mid-size animals, be sure to scope your backyard out before they are let out. Right before sunrise and after sunset are the most dangerous times, but you never know when you will encounter a wild animal. Be diligent and alert. Should you encounter a mountain lion, yell and scream. Be fierce and scare it away. Your dog or cat’s life could depend upon it. Rest in peace sweet Manilow. 

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