In my waking life, there is construction going on in the park across the street from my house. They are clearing out the underbrush and smaller trees within our 100 acre wood. The intent is to make it more park like and a little less wild. Previously, a nature trail wound through the unmaintained woods. I always like it because it felt like you were in the middle of a forest even though it was in the middle of the city. The other day, I walked through where they've been cutting down the trees and ripping out the brush. I could sense the pain of the foliage and wondered about the fate of the animals who used to call it home (mostly possums, squirrels, and rabbits). To my knowledge, there are no wild cats left in Kentucky.
It was nighttime. I left my house to walk across the street in order to view the progress on the new playground being built in the park. A large wildcat (possibly a cougar), the size of my Labrador retriever, snarled. I looked up. He was standing only about 20 feet from me. As I began to back away, it approached. I realized that as I stepped back, it gained confidence, sensing that I was vulnerable. So, I stepped toward it and yelled, "get away!". It jumped back then started slinking forward again. I continued telling it to leave but to no avail. I then began stepping backward toward my house. I made it across the street, but it kept following. A small girl, 3 houses down came off her porch to ask me what was wrong. I yelled at her to go inside and call 911 and ask for animal control. I inched toward my own front yard. The cat lunched at me. I somehow managed to be missed by his claws and grabbed it around the neck. I cradled it with my body to keep its arms and legs immobile. I didn't think I had any option but to strangle it to death. After the cat lost consciousness, I felt sorry for it. I could only assume that the woods in the park used to be its home. It had probably been living off of rabbits while avoiding people. But now, without a home, it was displaced in the suburbs.
Comments will be appreciated. I think it may simply represent the park fighting back and nothing more. The only thing is why did I have to defend myself when I wasn't the one responsible for destroying the natural elements of the park?