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A Tradition of Looking Behind the Curtain
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 Post subject: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 11:47 pm 
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When I'm being cast in the role of supplying the red.

I was just out walking. The sun was down but there was just enough twilight that I didn't switch on my head lamp. And then my eyes got dark adapted and I left it off as twilight deepened.

I was walking through a semirural subdivision named Pajarito Acres. The lots are actually two to five acres, but regardless. Sure enough, I heard something big stumbling through the scrub just off the road. Uh oh. Switched on my head lamp, finally. Yup, there's the read end of a deer headed the other direction.

Turned my head. There are a pair of green glowing eyes staring back at me from the scrub. Big round eyes. Rather a lot like my house cats when I shine a light into a darkened room where they're hanging out, except this pair of catlike glowing green eyes were four or five inches apart and at least three feet off the ground. Not more than twenty feet away.

I started to take a couple of steps to move around the critter, then some circuit from deep in my monkey brain came on and said "This is not a good idea. " So I slowly backed away instead, for about a hundred yards, with the glowing green eyes staring at me the whole time. Finally they glanced to the side, and I figured I was far enough to turn around and hurry the other way.

Yep, I was the one downwind. Though I was soaked enough in DEET, as a charm against rather smaller predators, that the critter would probably have given me a wide berth regardless.

Not quite the way I had intended to get my heart rate up and my respirations going.

It's times like this that I'm grateful for my progenitors, who systematically weeded out those large cats whose immediate thought in similar situations was "Dinner!"


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 11:55 pm 
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KGB wrote:
I started to take a couple of steps to move around the critter, then some circuit from deep in my monkey brain came on and said "This is not a good idea. "


And I'm thinking:

Image

Too late, unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 2:04 am 
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Location: Broomfield, Colorado
Whoa. The theory is with mountain lions you act aggressive - "I am not a prey animal but something large and tough and you don't want to mess with me ". Therefore you move toward them and act threatening. With bears you act submissively - "I am not another ursid invading your territory but a dumb herbivore of no interest to you." Therefore you move away from them and act harmless.

The catch is that the lions and bears may not be up to date on the latest theories.


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 10:46 am 
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setnahkt wrote:
The catch is that the lions and bears may not be up to date on the latest theories.


This one seemed cool with me backing away while still shining my headlamp in its eyes. Maybe it was actually a bear -- we have plenty of black bears in the area as well as cougars -- but there was something Very Big Kitty about the eyes. I'm glad this particular cougar was unclear on its scripted behavior.


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 10:14 am 
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Location: Toronto
In my experience, cats don't like it when they think they are being invisible and you tell them that you can see them. And when you are running away from something it becomes essentially invisible. Those reverse masks the Indian tiger hunters wear come to mind, where they have eyes on the backs of their heads.

The one sitting next to my laptop sez, "I own you regardless".

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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:05 am 
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Dude. Ruger Blackhawk. .45 Colt. That's big kitty medicine.

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"I intend to leave this world the way I came into it. Naked, screaming and covered in someone else's blood."


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:15 am 
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Maybe I can try out various formulations of big kitty medicine when I'm up your way in a few weeks.

Yeah, I'm srsly tempted to get a small but powerful pistol to take with me on walks and hikes. Need to acquaint myself with local law and then figure out how to afford it without SWMBO going ballistic. (Terminally ballistic?)


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 3:21 pm 
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That's a plan.

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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Pay particular attention to the exchange starting around 1:30.


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 Post subject: Re: Screw this "Nature red in tooth and claw" crap
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:44 pm 
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"... its a cat."

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