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My Blog

Cougar is in Town

Good morning to all...Sorry that I missed yesterday's blog...hopefully some of you missed me!!  LOL...life sometimes just gets in the way! 
Today's blog's title might leave you wondering what the story is about.  Now a day's Cougar has a whole different meaning. 
My cougar is the real, four paw variety.  It is interesting to me how us city folk are perceived as fools or unreliable sources of information.  Here is the story.
One evening I was out doing some chores.  It was around 8 in the evening.  The weather was horrible outside.  It was a real downpour of rain as I traveled westward bound on Dempster Ave. in Morton Grove, Illinois.  I had just crossed over some railroad tracks and began to approach the area where the forest preserves stood on each side of the street....when lo and behold, there in front of me ran this creature.  I had to slow down and take a double look as the- animal stretched it's body across the road.  In three long leaps it was back into the woods.  At first, I couldn't believe my eyes.  It definitely was large.  It definitely was not something familiar.  It was no deer which is the type of animal one might expect in that area.  Too big for a dog.  Way too big for a fox or a coyote.  It's paws were massive and in the dark it was too difficult to really say what it was, but being an artist, and being accustomed to drawing some animals, my first impression was some sort of large predatory cat...lioness or cougar.  I shook my head all the way home. 
When I arrived at home, I called a friend of mine that works at a Natural historic landmark and explained what I had seen.  Her first question to me was whether I had called the authorities.  I paused a moment and questioned what exactly I would say...I thought they would think I was crazy or drunk! 
But I did call and they really did ignore it.  they said that there was no way that such an animal would be in this area.  Perhaps I was mistaken in it's size.  It was probably a large dog.  Well, when the police ignore you, what do you do...I wasn't about to go out hunting to disprove them!
The next day, my friend had told some of the employees where she worked and one in turned later came to show her a newspaper article about a Cougar that had been tracked up near Milton Wisconsin.  The article was quite intensive about this Cougar and its tracking and that it looked as though it was heading in this direction.  I immediately looked up the article and the name of the person responsible for writing it.  I instantly sent an email to that individual, unfortunately with not much luck in return.  He recommended that I contact the DNR.  Well that was the next step on my to do list.  So I contacted someone at the DNR office.  I got the person's voice mail.  I left a very detailed message about what I was reporting that I saw, where it was seen and the date and time.  I left my phone number and name and awaited a call.  Well, I am sure glad I didn't hold my breath.  The call never came. 
I had been dismissed again.  It was amazing to me that these authorities dismissed my report.  I am a very sane individual who could come up with all types of wonderful stories about what I could see in the forest.  Perhaps if I spoke of Leprechauns or fairies, I might be thought loony...but really why and how would I choose a Cougar?
Well, it goes to show you how wrong authorities can be, because later, a few weeks later.  Not far from the location, someone else reported the cougar.  It has since been reported all over the area from Schaumberg to Glencoe and the Skokie areas.  I was just the first and was ignored.  I guess my vision wasn't so blurred after all.  They seem to be migrating in this area and are looking for deer, which is quite plentiful here.  
With this type of predator traipsing through our forest, I don't think I will be taking any walks through the woodlands soon. A warning for us all.  You never know what you might see in the dark, and the shame of it is...the authorities are in the dark about it as well.

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