Growing up in Montana, there was a lot more talk of cougar sightings than we get around these parts.

One day when I was about 14, my mom came home from her bank teller job in Butte and was pretty flustered. She said a cougar ran right in front of her car. We lived a mile up a dirt road, about 8 miles out of town. I would ride my Honda 3-wheeler down to my friend Danny's house, near the paved road. Danny's mom would always make us peanut butter on celery for a snack. I never told Danny that I had a crush on his mom. So when mom said a cougar ran in front of her car, I just figured Danny's mom had taken up jogging.

To this day I wonder why you're supposed to keep a close eye on your pets after a cougar sighting. Then I remembered what an animal lover Danny's mom was. Every time my dog Tippy would go missing, all I had to do was jump on my 3-wheeler and go to Danny's house. Sure enough, there was Tippy, eating treats from Danny's mom.

A few years later, I was old enough to date girls my own age, and daydreams of holding hands with, or even kissing Danny's mom faded. But I'll never forget my first encounter with a real, live cougar.

A young cougar was seen near Andrea Street near the municipal golf course in Milton-Freewater on Tuesday morning. Residents are asked to watch their pets.

Posted by Walla Walla Union-Bulletin on Tuesday, March 30, 2021



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