Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty

This morning I found myself giving my Sweetie, an ardent non-hunter, basic kitty kapping instructions. It's spring, and the lions are out and about, and as a local billboard once noted, "To a Mountain Lion, Your Pet Is CARRY OUT PIZZA."

Actually, as the Denver Post has noted, it's not a particularly bad year for lions. Last year was much worse, especially last fall. Because of the spread of Acute Wasting Dsease (AWD), some slob hunters weere taking elk and mulie heads and leaving the carcasses, which became flytraps for mountain lions.

The People's Republic of Boulder is a hotbed of lion sightings in Colorado because of the urban deer, which roam neighborhoods, canyons, everywhere. There was even a book a couple of years ago, The Beast In The Garden, about Boulder's urban lions.

I have a healthy respect for anything at the top of the food chain. I give the Bear In The Back Yard a wide berth, especially in the autumn when he's grumpy as hell and getting ready for his nap-nap. I'm careful in my hiking and biking to not put myself in the position of lion chow — I see signs all the time, but have never actually seen a lion. Most recently, my Sweetie and I did a winter hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, and coming back down we saw that our tracks in the snow were overlaid with lion tracks, cutting back and forth across our trail. Nice kitty!

Since a couple of local pooches have become lion lunches lately, I ran through the basics — as opposed to the current People's Republic thinking, including banging pots and pans, shouting, whispering, waving your arms, sending a telegram, notifying PETA, etc., just shoot the damn thing. Repeatedly. If it's gnawing down on Alf the Wonder Dog, shoot the kitty's hips to get its attention, then continue to remind the cat how we monkeys came to take over the planet.

I like lions a lot. But (and this goes for the Bear In The Back Yard, too) I'm not prey.


Anonymous said...

I've seen people use spray bottles on house cats. I wonder if a supersoaker would work on a big cat?

Only slightly joking,

Overload in Colorado

Anonymous said...

Well, why don't YOU try it and report back?
Only slightly joking.

Michael Bane said...

I once did a SuperSoaker gun test for SPORTS AFIELD...I believe it will stop a cat in its tracks, as long as it's filled with industrial ammonia or that caustic drool from the aliens in ALIENS.

BTW, it's darn hard to chronograph SuperSoakers...I shorted out one PACT!


Anonymous said...

Shoot the hips? I'd rather directly try for a killing shot. I try not to bumble around with things that have teeth the size of my fingers.

Michael Bane said...

The rationale for hips is that if the shooter is a non-hunter, the person might not have a good idea of where the kill zones actually are (also, if the bad animal is gnawing down on a family pet, the head kill zone is effectively out of play). This is more of an issue than you'd suspect...when I went through the GUNSITE Hunter Prep course, one of the biggest problems the instructors told me they typically saw was failure to hit the kill zones. The GUNSITE course is designed to "fix" that, using lifesized animal dummys with steel plates in the kill zones. The pop-up flags only showed if you hit exactly the right spot. This really becomes an issue when the animal is facing toward or facing way from you, or quartered, etc.

The hips are larger, easier to hit, and, ideally, you would at least limit the animal's mobility when it turned around and decided to eat YOU!

Then you got a head shot!

I've thought about the lion vs. handgun issue, and in the pet yummy scenario I've described, my inclination would be countrolled pair (current gunspeak for "double-tap") into the animal's shoulders; controlled pair into hips; retreat and reaccess the situation. The two shots in the shoulder region would be looking for the lungs and/or spine as well as breaking bones; the hip shots would be aimed at breaking as many bones as possible and robbing the animal of its mobility. Then I'd backpedal and look for a soild kill shot.

This is never going to happen, but it's worth the analysis...


Anonymous said...

Michael, thought you might like to check this story out about being stalked by TWO kitty cats... with pictures.
Not Solitary

Brass Balls Himself

Anonymous said...

I say try to do as much damage as you explained and hope for a head shot later. By the way, this is a national problem from East Coast to West Coast. These varmints are everywhere! I live in Arvada and I don't believe handing out leaflets is adequate remedy by the Department of Wildlife. Only when enough people get over the Disneyed up version of wild animals will this be somewhat resolved. I am sick of PETA and all the treehuggers.