An Extinct Cougar Visits Me

No, not that kind of cougar, you perv. The kind in the picture. An actual cat.

You will not believe this story.

Last night I had a dream. I dreamed I was on my big California king bed (that’s right: I sleep like that), which was in the woods. In the trees above me I saw a creature watching me. I thought it was a big baby owl.

As it grew more curious about me, the animal started moving my way. When it came and settled onto a “V” in the branches just above my bed, I saw that it was a cougar cub.

Here’s the weirdness: the cat took exactly the position—and I mean, exactly, with the same angle of looking down and everything—as the cougar in this picture. That photograph is the precise image of the cat in my dream. Even to the color of the sky behind it. It’s like someone literally took a snapshot of a moment in my dream.

This photograph was the first thing I saw this morning when I fired up my computer. On the front page of it’s being used to illustrate the news story, “Federal Researchers Declare Eastern Cougar Extinct.

In my dream the cougar cub was insane for affection; while still up in the tree branches it began doing patty-paws, and purring real loud, and munching the side of its head into the branches by way of imagining I was petting it. I could see that its paws and claws were insanely huge–but it was so ridiculously cute! So, of course, I called it down to the bed. It leaped down to me, and immediately started collecting mondo pets via me.

I called to my wife, “Cat! Cat!” (which is short for “Catherine! Catherine!). “Come in here. You’ve got to see this! It’s a baby cougar!” Apparently our couch was also in the woods, since Cat was then asleep on it maybe seven trees away. (And after work last night Cat did crash out on our couch. So. There it is.)

Cat came walking sleepily through the woods toward my bed. “What is it?” she said. When she saw the cougar cub on our bed lying on its back while I rubbed its stomach, she totally woke up.

“A baby cougar! A baby cougar!” she said. She jumped on the bed beside me, and she and I started lavishing upon that giant baby cat all the love we could, given that it had claws so huge the looked like koala claws.

And just to be clear, we were calling it a cougar.

And then this morning I wake up, and first thing run into a picture straight from my dream, about how a cougar that looked just like the cougar in my dream has been declared extinct.

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  • Serita

    It’s almost like she was taking the time to stop and say goodbye to someone. To remember.

  • Angel Hudgins

    Whoa… That’s crazy!

  • Linda Carter


  • Amy

    *sniffle*. This made me cry :(

  • Skip Johnston

    Okay, I’m going to — if you’ll pardon the expression — go out on a limb here. I’ve had seemingly precognitive dreams all my life. Most have been personal, trivial, even irrelevant to me. Once, after one of the Popes had died (I forget which one because I’m not Catholic and didn’t care), I dreamed who the next Pope would be. (Again, I didn’t care. But, nevertheless, I knew who the new Pope would be days before the guy was actually named.) Somewhat like your experience, it hasn’t been at all apparent that these dreams were precognitive until the actual event occurred. Nor, disappointingly, have they ever included a winning lotto number or hot stock tip. Yet they happen. I don’t know why.

    If there is any significance for me in these random occurrences it is in their utter coolness. It’s as if God pulled back the curtain just a teensy bit and quoted Shakespeare: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Never underestimate the wow-factor!

  • Mindy

    I so love it when these things happen. When the only appropriate response, really, is wide-eyed wonder, the sharing of a “Whoaaa!” with a fellow soul wandering this life.

  • Redlefty

    Einstein and Godel did some really cool work on the topic of time, and much of the math leads to the conclusion that it doesn’t really exist. If that’s true, then it stands to reason that we could be able to glimpse things both past and present.

    Either that or you had some funky guacamole before bed.

  • Shannon

    Love you John. You too Cat. You’re just…true.

  • A’isha

    That’s freaky, John. What do you think it means? Could a cougar be a symbol for your wife since her name’s Cat and a cougar is, well, you know, a cat? Ask her if she wants you to pet her more! LOL (Not that kind of petting! Get your mind out of the gutter! Or not.)

  • John Shore

    Whoa. What great comments.

  • Marie

    Awesome. Beautiful. I’m smiling so big for you right now. This is GREAT! :D

  • Debbie

    I just love these kinds of moments – thanks for sharing yours John…@Serita, your comment moved me deep.

  • Suz

    Goosebumps and secret smiles.

  • Shadsie

    Come back, cougar! The deer in the east are too numerous! We need you!

    When I first saw that story, I was sad. I’m saddened by the extinction of any creature – but especially magnificent predators. If the snow leopard goes, I’m going to have to build a little shrine or something (seen one of them at the zoo, so beautiful).

  • DR

    What a cool thought.

  • Nora

    Oh, cool! As an avid hiker and runner up here in NorCal, I am both awed and terrified by mountain lions. I’ve never seen one and I’m not sure I want to, but it’s kind of cool knowing they’re out there not so very far from here.