Cool post. Epistle Warning!!I'd read an article about this cat and wondered about it. Detroit and Metro-Detroit (suburban) are urban areas with natural features like wooded rivers and drainages running through it in all directions. Technically, it has always been possible for a big bear or wolf to migrate in to the heart of the city...the coyotes have already returned. Some rumors say cougars have too, further north and/or further south. Coyotes will drive out feral dogs, but cougars are likely to avoid packs of feral dogs, so it is an odd equilibrium if cougars are actually present...until said cougars decide to occupy abandoned houses, then it is war time. Cougars will try to occupy vacant barns or out-buildings in near wilderness areas of Montana for example and can be hard to dislodge. I live in a densely populated urban area and I can go less than a mile to see coyotes, raccoons, and all matter of woodland critters, denizens of the Rouge River tributaries near-by...all wooded along the banks. I can go at most three blocks to see wild pheasants along the railroad rights of way, and pheasants have been native to these rights of way for over 100 years. When the DNR wanted robust native Ring Neck specimens to interbreed with some planted pheasants, they live trapped along the C&O and Conrail railway lines....in the 1980's. The rail rights of way used to be the home of feral dogs, but the coyotes have driven them off and they now occupy the vacant and abandoned houses in areas when they are plentiful...not around me thankfully, but not far away either.It is possible that the animal people are seeing is a smaller cat, say bobcat size, that grows in the imagination...a natural phenomena. It is possible that it really is a big spotted & striped cat, potentially a young Jaguar some fool keep as a guard-cat pet until he/they couldn't handle it any longer. This happens when idiots try to do something against nature. I've rescued dog/wolf hybrids from some of these types....my favorite and the best of the wolf-dogs was Shadow ...on v-e-r-y big doggie. Once the pollution was re-mediated, it is natural that wildlife returns here in numbers...because much of it never left in the first place. The Peregrine Falcons that have become old timers here now were "planted" by a cooperative effort of the DNR and Audubon Society in 1987 and 1988. 1987 was so successful that the 1988 birds were re-captured and relocated to the UP....the word had spread among Peregrines (means "wanderer") and Detroit was home turf to three nesting pairs...newcomers were not welcome, and one was killed. WE moved the remainign 4 in 1988 and have never looked back. Yes, I said "we" because Judi and I were among of the many volunteers on the Peregrine Return Project....abiding on sky-scraper roof tops to observer the birds as they hacked out, fledged, flew, and began hunting. Great experience and one I recall fondly every time I hear their call or see one in flight or stoop over the city. They are unmistakable. As for this "big cat"...I'd hope some knowledgeable people, from DNR or elsewhere, will look in to it and search for scat (poop), what's in the scat, and then other things that indicate a presence. No poop, no cat. Big cats are not vegetarians, so some critters would need to be vanishing for them to eat. To a cat, remember, if it moves it is food. The way it saunters off when disturbed sure sounds like a Jaguar. There's my imagination running wild again .... where are my cameras and bear spray anyway :-))
The look on your little dogs face as it is peering up at the giant Shadow is priceless.From the descriptions of the cat, it sounds like a Cheetah. They are often quite tame. Tall and lean.I live in a sparsely populated rural area and it is nothing to see coyotes, foxes, racoons, skunks, bald eagles, falcons, sand hill cranes, blue herons, geese and ducks galore, deer on a daily basis. The Bald Eagles nest in the trees below us, catch fish in the river and fly directly over our heads when we are sitting on the deck. More rarely we come across antelope, bears, pelicans in the breeding season (there is a sanctuary here) and in the winter the occasional cougar. We often see the tracks in the snow on out property, quite near the house. Needless to say, we don't go outside unarmed at night. A few years ago, one of our nearer neighbor ladies shot a cougar in her hen house when she went out to see what all the commotion was. The lady was in her 80's. Not very amazing for our area.Personally, I think it is both sad and cool at the same time that wildlife like pheasants can recapture the urban wilderness. Sad because the wilderness represents the downfall of the hopes and dreams of hard working people and illustrates the destructive nature of Liberalism. Cool, because it shows how strong nature is and how feeble we are when trying to change it or stop it. Global warmists are fools to think that we can destroy or affect the whole world or that the world cares if we drive a different car or don't use incandescent light bulbs. We are just not that important.
The Demos needed only 40 years to turn one of the great industrial powerhouses in history (a major reason we won WWII) back to the state in which Robert Rogers found it when he governed it 250 years ago.Coming soon to LA, Seattle, Gotham, Philadelphia, Baaston, Chi-town, and San Fiasco (although the animals may avoid that last one).Then the Conservatives can come in and rebuild them.
I always get in to arguments with pseudo-environmentalists who do not understand that nature will always reclaim its territory left unused. Always. Man is merely a small blip on the continuum of time in nature. Detroit and the metro area has always been ripe for nature's return because for the most part, it never left, thanks to the rivers and woodlands that have always been here.My time spent avocationally studying feral dogs of the rail road rights of way was interesting as they returned more and more to the wolf ancestry.
Aridog—"Man is merely a small blip on the continuum of time in nature." Well spoken!
DBQ ... that isn't our little dog, it is a friend's, a vet tech, who we placed "Shadow" with to raise from 6 months onward. We already had enough dogs. "Shadow" raised two boys from infancy and lived until he was 14. He had but one overtly aggressive trait...he hated men who smelled of beer. He was moderately wolfish, but firm in his territoriality ...e.g., you did not climb his fence or enter his house without escort by our friend, and you never harmed "his" kids, the two little boys.
I had to stop Anonymous comments due to spam. But I welcome all legitimate comments. Thanks.