My mother was raised in a small community on the British Columbia coast. In the early ’30s there was a bounty on cougars and her father, trying to make ends meet, had shot a cougar but noticed when skinning it that it was nursing. He felt bad and didn’t want the kittens to starve. His plan was to give the dogs an exercise in tracking and to put the kittens out of their misery if he could find them. When he found them they were so little their eyes weren’t even open. He brought them home and the neighbour lady and his three daughters raised them.
This photo is of my mom and her two sisters about a year or so into their cougars’ lives. So many stories from an era when not much was known about these gorgeous animals.
The cougars didn’t like strangers (particularly men) but loved their girls. Sometimes when strangers were taking photos they would hiss at the photographer while purring for being close to their family. (The chain was to try and protect the livestock in the community – especially the pigs.)