Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mountain Lion House

We finally made it! We got settled into our little canyon home this past week. It was a little rough getting out here, but totally worth it. We love our new place! 

Well except for the mountain lions (and bears a little bit too). And really, it's only me who's scared about the wildlife. Ange and the dogs are being all bad ass about it. I'm pretty chill during the day, but once the sun starts to drop I turn into a big chicken. 

I can't help it. I can be told all sorts of reassuring things, but I can't get over my fear of mountain lions attacking me or Ange or the dogs. I'm working on it, I really am! Hopefully with time it will get better. 

In the meantime I've devised a system that helps me to feel safer. Ange thinks it is ridiculous, but she isn't the one who is scared so poop on her. 

How to feel empowered and safe from mountain lion and bear attacks, also known as "The System"

1. Windows and doors must be opened to mountain lion proof sizes. Approximately 12 inches. We leave the windows and doors open in the evening. There are screens in them. When we go to sleep we leave only windows open. They can't be open wide enough that a mountain lion could tear through the screen and come in. And duh, I know they aren't stopped by screens, hence the 12 inch window. They aren't going to tear through a screen, slide the window up and then come attack us. They don't have compound thoughts. If they can't bust through they get confused and leave.

2. All perimeter lights must be turned on at dusk.

3. All doors must be locked at night while sleeping. (This also keeps away bears).

4. When proceeding to bed, there must be a path of lights from wherever I am until I get into the bedroom. E.g. if I need to go to the back of the house, then I turn on lights from the bedroom to the destination, and then as I come back I turn each one off as I go.

5. No trash outdoors. Especially composting. Attracts wildlife.

6. When taking the dogs outside anytime from dusk to dawn you must make a lot of noise. Talking loudly usually suffices, though I like to throw in some mountain lion humor to take the edge off, e.g. "Oh mountain lions! Get the hell out of here, dogs are coming out to pee!" 

We try our best to take the dogs out right before the sun goes down for a nice long potty & play break. That way, we only have to let them out for a quick potty break right before bed, therefore reducing the amount of time spent in prime mountain lion hunting time. 

Careful! Mountain lion is watching you!