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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Antique cat

On Monday morning someone reported seeing a mountain lion in a field near the Owls Head Transportation Museum. The witness was a former Maine Registered Guide and was adamant that what he saw was not a bobcat, or a coyote. The folks from Fish and Wildlife are quite ready to be convinced, they say, but need more evidence that the big cats are re-establishing territory in Maine than the occasional sighting here and there.

What would convince them, a formal introduction? Or some lodge could organize a puma and panther party, a cougar and catamount crusade, with hundreds of hunters and dogs to beat the bushes and shoot the thing, skin it, mount it and put it on display next to the stuffed Studebakers in the OHTM. That would show 'em.

Or we could just believe Mr. Kip Yattaw (whose name is an anagram for "it Kat-y paw") when he says, "They are here and they are real."

It's the agnostic's dilemma: we want to believe but say we need proof. Or, considering the insults to the earth these days, is it that we don't want to believe and we don't want proof? We're human, we mix faith and fact to suit the politics or the emotion. All I know is that I don't like zoos, and I don't like animal dioramas, and I'm very happy this week on my walks, hoping for the impossible to appear in the woods, or even, when I took the dog out last night for her final pee, wondering if that large brown shape bounding out of the garden into the black night was possibly not the deer it was last week.

1 comment:

Jeff Boatright said...

That would be pretty cool to have a big cat population stage a comeback. Careful for your pets, though. As to:

"What would convince them, a formal introduction?"

From the Google: Spoor is any sign of a creature. Spoor includes track, trail and droppings. Spoor is useful for discovering or surveying what types of animals live in an area, or in animal tracking.

Accounts of sightings, even by experts, are often wrong. Seems reasonable to me that authorities would want more than an eye witness account before they turn on the spigots of the various local and federal wildlife regulations.