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Pet of the Day
Today's Pet of the Day
Samantha the Cougar, the Pet of the Day
Name: Samantha
Age: Eighteen years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Cougar
Home: Mississippi, USA
   This is Samantha, my beautiful cougar, lying on her front porch getting her chin scratched, which she loves. Cougars are the only big cat that can purr, and chin-scratching really makes her motor run. I have had Samantha since she was a tiny orphaned baby on a bottle. I have been very fortunate to have her in my life. Watching her grow from a kitten into a powerful and graceful adult was both fun and fascinating.

     She is very much a cat, making it quite clear that things are to be done on her own terms, and when she gets bored, the audience is over. She has never shown the slightest tendency toward harming anyone, but is incredibly strong and could easily do so if she wanted to. Consequently I never enter her compound alone - she is, in essence, still a wild animal and therefore unpredictable. If she decides to play, she can knock you off your feet with one swipe of a paw! Owning a cougar is not something I would recommend to anyone. They can never be 'pets' in the true sense of the word, and must at all times be respected. The accomodations are expensive - Samantha has a large, tree-shaded compound, double fenced with 10-ft. chain link fence - as are the permits and insurance required by law. She eats raw chicken, which she takes from my hand through the feeding slot in the fence every morning. There is a great deal of responsibility involved in making sure she is as healthy and happy as is possible under the circumstances. I am certain that she will have a much longer life here than she would have in the wild. Even at 18 she hasn't slowed down much, just mellowed out a bit. Samantha is a joy, and it never ceases to amaze me that she allows me to be her friend and shares her purrs with me.

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