Pumas, Mountain Lions, Cougars, Painters... Puma Concolor, literally "lion of one color", are the largest of the purring cats. Sometimes called the cat of many names, it is currently listed in dictionaries around the world with more names than any other animal. Males and Females are similar in appearance, large tan coated cats about 6-8 feet long 110-180 pounds for males, 5-7 and 80- 130 pounds for females. They can leap forward up to 40 feet, and upward to 20 feet. Their favorite mode of hunting is to perch hidden on a sturdy tree branch or ledge until prey passes beneath them and they can drop in for a, hopefully, suffocating or nerve severing bite.
Solitary and elusive, they are difficult to track so estimates are really shots in the dark and details can be sketchy. They are crepuscular; active most often at dusk and dawn. Ungulates like deer, elk or wild horse are favored, but smaller game like rabbits or hares, raccoons, beavers, even mice or birds may make a meal.
Reports vary, but an adult marks out a territory anywhere between 50 and 1000 km (58-386 sq miles) for males, and half that for females. Ranges overlap so that males and females can meet up for mating. Females have litters of 1-6 cubs which have darker spots and rings for camouflage. Sometimes called the American Lion, Cougars can be found in most American habitats.
As one of the largest and most impressive predators on this continent, the Puma has been a Guide and Teacher, and is an excellent one to turn to on any matters of Leadership, Strength/Power, Balance, Responsibility, and the setting of Boundaries. One of their main messages is the understanding and developing of the proper uses of Power.
Cougar's silent gaze insists that we not only work to Awaken, but that we walk our talk, living up to our word and professed beliefs. True strength and confidence begin with Truth. If you cannot be honest with yourself, if you refuse to examine or accept the Truth of yourself as you are, warts and all, then... how can you see, understand or speak to the Truth of anyone else?
A well-balance Cougar person will never be found throwing their weight around, arrogantly ordering others about or belittling those around them. These are not the acts of a confident, strong person that others look to for advice and leadership. The Ghost Cat reminds us to lead by example, to be the change we wish to see happening around us, the light in the darkness that helps others find their way.
Cougar is believed to be a powerful messenger between us and the Divine Spirit. Cougar teaches that this particular Wisdom comes through discipline, fearless exploration, time spent in solitude and silence, as well as journeying Within. Knowing when to lend your strength to a person, project or goal and when to say no is also an important Puma lesson. The Wild Painter says, Know thyself. Know thy needs. Be decisive and then take action!
Keywords: Leadership, Balance, Strength/Power, Confidence, Silence, Solitude, Ancestors, Mystery, Messages from Creator, Patience, Guardianship, Responsibility
Associated with: Viracocha (Incan Sun god), Creator/Great Mystery, Goddess/Feminine energy
Potential Balancers: Animals like Deer, rabbit/hare, raccoons, coyote, mice/rodents or porcupine. birds of all sorts, snakes, trees of all kinds, Sun, stone