How do you have a good day after a nightmare?

Somehow cougars slunk into my sleep last night, perhaps because I was told yesterday that a cougar had been spotted in a yard half a block away.

Yes, it’s true: in peaceful little Powell River we all live with the possibility of finding a Schwarzekitty prowling the deck for a tender little mammalian morsel for its brekkies.

In my dream, there stood a deer in my weedy driveway, doing the deer-in-the-headlights-thing without the headlights. Behind it crept a rather large cat. I found myself standing at the entrance to the driveway, whence I had an excellent view of the creature’s back end: no tail, and a large but healing wound around where the tail should normally be. Holy moly—this was no kibble-eater. This was the real thing—la puma, cougar, mountain lion. As the deer stumbled down the driveway a bit, the cougar kept pace. Thirty feet up the driveway, apparently chatting to someone, sat another cougar, tail and all, washing its face desultorily with one paw.

To whom was this even larger lion chatting? To my beloved wolf dog, Tyee, who sat at the end of his chain trying not to quiver. “Pack Leader! Do something!” begged his big golden eyes.

Having not the faintest idea what to do, I woke up.

Tyee lay nearby, on his bed, snorfling happily in wolfish dreamland. Whew!

If I tried for more sleep, those darned cougars would be waiting for me. I padded downstairs and peered into the yard; flipped on the outside light; peered again. No Schwarzekitties. More whew!

I made a mug of green tea with stevia and padded back to the bed, where 125 pounds of wolf dog lay curled up, head on my pillow, waiting for an explanation for such early rising.

Tyee, wolf-shepherd, curled up on bed.

The Big Bed Wolf.

How to have a good day after a stomach-clenching day-starter like this? Read a gritty novel? Write a poem? Take a pre-dawn walk in the woods with Lord Tyee? (Nooooooo…!) Cook a big breakfast for us? Get to work early? Go back to bed?

Bed, tea, and a novel won, ending in a snooze. I finished the dream by sneaking around the other side of the house, emerging on the deck, hand-signaling my tied-up wolfdog onto the deck where I could release him from the chain, and letting out an ear-splitting phrase of opera which stopped the two lions in their tracks. I swear the bigger one put paws over its ears as Tyee and I backed into the house.

What does it mean to dream of cougars having their fun with you?

I’ll be keeping an eye out for cat scat in the yard.

How do you find your centre after a terrifying nightmare?

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