Professor Reynolds alerts us to a breaking story: mountain lions have been seen in the vicinity of Wheat Ridge and Lyons, Colorado. It’s a minor piece, presumably interesting for the concatenation of names (“lion in Lyons”, get it?) and as an illustration of the Progg mindset. Here is a picture of the one in Lyons, which is said to be wearing a radio collar, presumably attached by the Colorado Department of Wildlife (DOW) or one of the many other animal-studies and animal-management groups active in the area:

A mountain lion, seen after eating a goat

The fence in the background belongs to Gary Gorman, whose goat the lion has just killed (according to the Lyons Recorder).

For those who don’t know, Wheat Ridge is a community or suburb within the Denver metropolitan area, and Lyons is an outlying village in the People’s Republic of Boulder, just north and west of the big city.

The Denver Post quotes police as “…advising residents to keep small children and pets inside and keep trash bins tightly shut.” The Lyons Reporter tells residents

The main prey of mountain lions are deer and elk, but like most predators, they are opportunistic, and with the increase of people keeping llamas, goats, chickens, etc., the DOW says it is not unusual for lions to be seen at the wilderness/urban interface, as humans continue to encroach into the animal’s habitat. They advise adults to keep small children close when out for a walk or hike, and to keep pets indoors at night. If a lion is spotted, the DOW guidelines suggest you pick up small children, make yourself appear to be as large as possible, back away from the animal slowly (never run, it may trigger the “attack” response), and if possible, throw rocks or sticks to frighten the cat.

Note the total absence in both accounts of the first thought likely to enter a rural resident’s head: Shoot the %#@@$! Instead, locals are advised that kitty is just doin’ what comes naturally (“they are opportunistic”) in the face of oppression (“humans continue to encroach into the animal’s habitat”), and the proper response is to retire (slowly) and let it have its way, while taking precautions (“keep small children and pets inside”) and, in extremis, use the nuclear arm of Progressivism, a protest (“make a lot of noise […] and appear as large as possible”). Whether or not signs and papier-maché puppets will make the Ultimate Weapon more effective is not addressed.

There is a technique in verbal conflict called the stone bucket. It consists of collecting the opponents’ statements and actions on a subject (the stones) and assembling them in a repository (the bucket), ready for use when the other guy overreaches and his own history can be flung con brio. In a day and age of cut-and-paste and near-free data storage, I wonder why it isn’t used more. In this case, the soothing advice to yield and appease could be very useful when kittycat overgeneralizes the concept of “prey” so as to include five-year-olds playing in the street.