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Here in the central Appalachians the PA Game Commission will deny over and over again that there are cougars aka mountain lions aka black panthers roaming over large areas of deep forest and even down where humans habitate. But i have heard stories that are first hand of their sightings, and seen game cam photos, seen their skull skeletons, heard them with my own ears and seen them with my own eyes. We also have bobcats and even my mum, who lives in the suburbs but very near a wooded area and creek, saw one enter her yard and get into a fight with one of her cats. It had all the classic signs of dark tufts on its ears, the size of a dog, and the snub tail, and a wild howl. She chased it away with a broom! You Go Mom! LOL And these sightings of cougars and bobcats are not “urban (rural) myths” but sightings by trained hunters and hikers who know what they are hearing and seeing. All these animals in physical or totem shamanic form existed for millennia in the mythologies of The People.
Copyright LJElliott 2014
Bobcat chasing Pheasant mount at local Amish/Mennonite store
A couple years ago at dusk i was sitting out back and there across the run, approximately 10 meters away, i distinctly saw a large tan cat about 1.5 meters long with a long tail ending in a black stripe. It was visible and its size judge-able against the fallen tree it walked in front of. It appears from behind the wild rose bush where the dry run is that fills with water when it rains hard. If quickly moves right to left out into the woods again. I only saw it for maybe 5 seconds and it did not notice me, or at least did not look in my direction. No one believed me except my neighbor who is a skilled bow hunter and part time taxidermist (oh and BTW he has a mounted bobcat in his work room). It was definitely a cougar or mountain lion. Now here in North America they are basically the same cat from tan to brown to black. Up here we call them cougars. Out west in the mountains and even here in the mountains they are called mountain lions. Down south they are often black and called panthers. In the SW they are called pumas. Down in South America their genus is i think a little different and they are called jaguars and are spotted or black. BTW my high schools mascot was the black panther, so, where did the get that mascot???
Bobcat skull Lady Luna found rolled down the mountain, probably the rest of the bones up hill, Copyright V.Latta 2013
So, on the night of 2 August 2014 at approximately 2200 hours i was sitting in my living room watching a video on the ancient peoples of Europe, two rooms away from the back of my house, with the windows just cracked open a bit. I distinctly heard a loud large cat howl out back across the run. It was piercing and chilling. My cats jumped up from sofa and floor and ran to various windows to look outside. I went to the kitchen and turned on the back flood lights and armed myself with a strong flashlight to check it out. Was it two large tomcats getting into a fight or a mating? Well there are no toms around, just one stray small black and grey striped cat who is quiet and runs when i go out. So i sneak out behind my swing which has a canopy and a large tulip poplar tree and what do i see and feel? Over across the stream, about 10 meters away, is a black spot where the wild rose bush is, where the dry spring bed feeds into the run, and there are two large eyes looking at me. I estimated from the distance and other reference points that it was a large cat standing on its haunches with its eyes at around a meter plus high. It just stared. All of a sudden felt not fear but rather felt like i was food or prey. I knew in four bounds down the bank, across the run, up the bank, then to me would take about 3-4 seconds. So i wisely returned to my house behind a steel door. I am very curious and bold with large animals like bears, but i am not stupid. Why do i think the cat was black? Because my flashlight lit up the ground and trees and its eyes, but where its body was it reflected back only black and the yellow eyes.
The next nigh i hear a not as loud cat howl again, once again at 2230 hours, that could have been a large tom cat. Once again i turn on the lights, grab my torch, and over on my neighbor’s foot bridge i can see two huge yellow eyes looking at me, then to the right where the previous cat was and probably is now, then blinking, then at me again, then it turns away and disappears. In my torch i could see the brown wood of the bridge in front and in back of it but no body because once again it was black, and this time i felt no fear nor like prey the previous night. At first i thought because the eyes were less than a meter high and the howl was different it may be a bobcat, but that would be near nigh impossible to see/hear a panther and a bobcat on consecutive nights.
So, my theory, after talking with someone who knows these cats, is that the first night i met the mother black panther. My friend said they will howl near a house to draw out and then chase down any domestic dog or cat or other ‘pet” that makes their appearance known by barking or any aggressive behaviour or by running, then the chase is on since these cats love to run down prey like deer and especially fawns. I think she was testing my cats, whose scat she had smelled out there under the hemlocks where they like to go. I think she and her half grown progeny were just prowling this part of the woods checking it out for food or danger, good lessons for momma to teach baby. I think the second night her son or daughter came out of the shadows to sing its song, and i have been told a female will keep a cub for up to 5 years, making sure it is trained and wise enough and grown enough to be independent, before she goes into estrus to have another small litter. I think this is what i heard and saw, a female black panther and her cub. I have heard them before in the week and a half previously, but the sounds could be something else like an owl taking a rabbit etc.
I could be wrong, but all indications point to the fact that i am right, and others i know independently confirm this story. Lets just say as the days get shorter and dusk happens now around 2030 hours i find myself less and less back in those woods at the black cabin. And if i am i am armed and make lots of noise like chanting AmerIndian chants and such. I also wear a bell and a whistle like hikers in bear infested territories do. As i said earlier i am pretty bold and fearless but i am not a stupid fool. And one can read Many stories of joggers out west in new developments pushing into the cat’s territories being run down and killed my such large cats.
Two mountain Lions mounted at the local Amish/Mennonite Store
Close up of one of these mountain lions about 2.5 meters nose to butt
This game cam caught this cougar about ready to take down a deer, just a few miles from where i live. Photo source unknown but shown to me by the lady at the drug store when we were talking about my bear this spring.
This is what the eyes of the black panther and her older cub looked, demonstrated by a pic of my older cat Shadow being caught in the flash of my camera, my own little demon cat LOL. Photo Copyright GLHoke 2014.
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What do you expect regarding the psychic, ethereal and physical facts that two large black cats in the form of a black panther, rare in these here parts, appears to me twice two days in a row? I AM the Elder High Priest of the Coven of the Catta. In the black cabin and the area around it i have the bones of many animals. Of late i have invited the Indian spirits down from the mountains, and they Do come. And i have invited all living creatures to feel comfortable on my property as i will not hunt or harm them. So, they come. I have been told by Lady Alsace Isa Brie that one of my totems is the black panther. In the magickal world this is not strange or even disturbing, just an evocation of what one projected. It is what it is. The facts are the facts. It means to me what it means to me and no one else in my own personal UPG and i make of it and react and do magicke from it. We are All Blessed when the animals, animal spirits, and native indigenous people contact us in spirit and in physical reality. I don’t write about such things much, especially on this blog, but thought it worthy of a post so So many bloggers i follow and who follow me do the same shamanic thing. Blessings. SMSBFZ 3* COC.