Today, we were finally able to go to our neighborhood/community meeting, which was at a local Christian retreat. It was so nice to be able to finally go, since it had been during church meetings every time before! Afterward, George got to play around the nice landscaping and grassy fields, and we had a nice calm afternoon. Emilie also got the privilege of stuffing dirt and rocks in her mouth, which we found out as she gave us an open tooth-smiled grin displaying all the contents. Our cute kids *grins*
We were able to meet a lot of our neighbors during the meeting and get the latest on all the news and things they’re trying to accomplish. We had some of our own news to share as well, and they had some info to help. Our first goat, Kimmie, was taken a few weeks ago. This morning, our second one was taken, Nephi. Our most prized goats, gone. Kimmie was our girl Boer goat, with beautiful brown eyes and a brown spot on her back in the shape of a heart. Nephi was our Nigerian Dwarf with blue eyes and white hair. We though Kimmie had just hopped over the fence and got lost, even stolen. Now, it’s pretty obvious that they were snagged and killed by a mountain lion. Today we learned that mountain lions have no trouble scaling a wall, they’re giant cats. They jump over, take the prey a ways away, take a few bites, and then bury it and come back for the rest later. Sounds like a horror story, am I right? Well this mountain lion is 200 lbs and apparently is the mother of two cubs, and she lives on our bloody mountain!
At first I was all for killing a mountain lion on site, but now, after hearing she has two cubs, I couldn’t kill her. I’ve watched too many documentaries about cubs starving because their mommy couldn’t teach them how to hunt in time and it takes cubs time to mature or they’d stave. If we trapped her, we wouldn’t have the cubs either, so they’d die. The only option we have now is to put the goats in at night or give them away because they’re going to get picked off sooner or later. Once a mountain lion knows you have livestock, it’s like telling it “McDonalds, right here! Fast food for the taking, and oh, you don’t even have to pay!”. It’ll keep coming back our friends said.
On the positive side, people eat goats (our Kimmie was a meat goat), and they actually got eaten. Ok, so these were my pets and I told Scott we’d never eat them, unless in emergency situations (food storage), but they were mine. But, on the positive note, I fed a momma mountain lion with two cute babies in winter when food is scarce. I wasn't exactly offering them though, am upset, and I’m not exactly going to go outside at dawn, at dusk, or, well, just for the heck of it unless we’re going to the park. Well, one of the men at the meeting worked as a volunteer with a fire department, and he said the biggest prey of mountain lions (when he was on call), were goats. He said only once did one kill a human, and it was a woman who decided to follow one and take pictures of it... it felt threatened and killed her. He said the biggest thing to do is NOT RUN (triggers a cats instinct to attack) and obviously don’t follow them. He says I’m pretty safe because they don’t like humans. I don’t doubt they could kill me though because one, they did kill a woman (as stupid as she was), and two, the ranch next door actually had horses taken down by them (most likely because they ran though?) But anyway, I think I'm still a little scared to go outside! Firstly, they stalk their prey, from the bushes! They wait a while and THEN they strike. What the heck?! Am I overly feaking out? Am I unjustified? Don’t I have a right to be concerned? But how concerned should I be??? Well, obviously more than I was before, but how much more??? My goats are dead and now I only have two left, and also we lost a chicken to a coyote (it didn’t get it all the way though the fence when it got it though, and it had to be finished off. Our expert chicken killing neighbor helped).
I'm happy we're still alive, that my kids are well, that we have a nice big, comfortable home. I'm happy we have a shelter for our goats at night (that we will be keeping them locked up in). And I'm mostly thankful for these experiences of death because they sober me up and make me a more cautious mother. That goat could have been my child. Anyway, I'm thankful to heavenly father for these experiences, and I'm planning on keeping my kids very safe. Sorry George, sorry Emilie. It's painful, but the goats taught us one thing. They liked to be out and not have to wait for us to let them out for food, so we let them have their cage open at night to go in and out as they pleased... now they're dead. You will never have unsupervised visits with the outdoors until your old enough for a carry permit.