I was hired by LittleCritterz.com to write a new ABOUT US page and a few blog posts about Wild Cats of the Americas. When they’re published on the site, I’ll link to them so you can read them.
The project was a hoot and I enjoyed it tremendously.
That’s probably what led me to having the dream I had last night, in conjunction with a question I was asked on Quora: “What animal would you least like to meet during a walk in the wilderness?”
In the dream, my dad and I were heading up a logging trail. He was focused on ascending as high as he could to see a fire through his binoculars that was raging in an area he was familiar with.
He was very agile in this dream, even as large a man as he was.
He skittered up the side of a shale-like crumbly hill like a mountain goat. I was worried he’d fall because we were so far off the beaten path. Had he fallen, I would have had a heckuva time packing him out of there!
But he didn’t fall and soon he was out of sight.
I followed him up the rocky hill but couldn’t spot him when I got to the top, so I decided to sit tight and wait.
I settled into a partially-hollowed-out, half-fallen tree that was leaning against another tree, so it was very comfortable to recline in.
Before long, I spotted a female cougar and her younger kitten (half-grown already) wandering around. I watched them for a while until they started heading higher into the area where I thought my dad had gone.
Just minutes later, I spotted a small pack of wolves. They, too, were padding around. They didn’t appear to be in hunting mode any more than the cougars had.
I figured they might be refugees from the blazing fire that was taking up so much of a distant region.
I called up the hill to my dad, hoping he could hear me (figuring he could), “Hey, Dad, just a heads up! There are a couple cougars and some wolves heading your way! Don’t panic. Just be aware!”
At that time, a sow bear and her half-grown cubs showed up.
That confirmed it for me: these critters were escaping in droves from the distant fire.
So I wasn’t in the least concerned.
In fact, I considered myself fortunate to be a witness to the spectacle of several species of wildlife families!
But before too long, all of them started to gather in the area around “my” semi-fallen tree. I started to get a wee bit worried, but figured if I just stayed quiet, I’d be fine. (“Make no waves.”)
The animals I was most concerned about weren’t the cougars or wolves, even though they’re carnivores. I was most concerned about the sow and her cubs. I know bears have very poor eyesight and that mama bears are protective of their cubs.
Sure enough, in my dream, it was the bears who came closest first.
One of the cubs started scratching its back on the tree trunk I was tucked into.
Then the other one came over, and started in with the scratching on the other side of the tree trunk.
Finally, the sow came over and parked herself right in front of me with her back to me. She was so close I could have reached out and given her a back scratch, but I didn’t think that was a very good idea.
I held my breath and tried not to let her know I was there. My fervent hope (and prayer) was that she would continue to consider me part of the fallen log. I didn’t want her to become irate because I was so close to her cubs.
As the dream continued, the mama bear practically leaned backward into me so I ended up with my fingers in her fur anyway. That’s when I did the unthinkable– I started scratching her back a wee bit through the thick mat that was her fur coat!
And she responded with pleased grunts! Before long, I was scratching her and her cubs like they were pets I’d known for years! The more I did it, the less nervous I became, but I still didn’t speak.
I’d love to tell you more, but that’s where the dream ended.
So my dream answered the Quora question.
I’d be most unsettled running into a sow and her cubs, which has happened to me in the past (see what happened then here), although I wasn’t forced by circumstances (as I was in last night’s dreamy adventure) to stick around for the earlier encounter, thankfully!