Pantied cougars, just like aging panthers,
have partners who aren’t always the best answers:
when looking for young men they can seduce,
it’s often just too late to reproduce,
and their decision that made them delay
their reproduction may force them to pay
a doctor specialized in reproductive
medicine. Too late to be seductive
if you’re a cougar who is highly sexed
and fed up with your old man whom you’ve exed:
you won’t find with your fading bedroom eyes,
a young man who’ll both fuck and fertilize.
Most cougars are less fertile than a bunny,
and therefore forced to spend a lot of money
to have a child if they, when younger, failed
to be pink panther who’s both tailed and maled.
Sex In the City, which was for Samantha
great fun, is less so as a cougar panther
when she is trying to conceive. Your doc
injects you with some hormones, but a cock
that drives you with a cougar climax wild
won’t give you what you really want, a child.
Pink panthers have far better syncopations
than gray ones who are running out of patience.
Inspired by an article on the Florida panther by Natalie Angier (“A Love Affair With the Florida Panther, for the Moment,” NYT, January 5, 2010):
As David Onorato of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission carefully opened the giant refrigerator where the bodies were kept, I couldn’t help myself. My heart raced. My muscles tensed. Every cheesy freezer horror scene from the movies and “The Sopranos” flitted through my mind, and I almost covered my eyes but knew how ridiculous that would be. Yet when the partly frozen female panther was finally laid out on a metal table, the sight was not scary or grisly. It was pure, plain sadness. The vultures may have pecked out her eyes and begun rummaging around beneath her tail, but still the 4-year-old panther was an 80-pound muscular masterpiece, her canines as thick and polished as coffee cup handles, her tawny fur still softly bristly to the touch. The carcass had been recovered from the side of the road a day earlier, another case of big cat meets bigger motorized vehicle in a year that was full of them: 17 endangered Florida panthers were killed by cars and trucks in 2009, the valedictory victim a 3-month-old kitten, as young panthers are called, found on New Year’s Eve. Add in the seven other panthers that were killed by gunshot, one another or “causes unknown,” and the mortality rate seems insupportably high for a wild population estimated at maybe 110 breeding adults. Yet if there is any bright note to be extracted from the death ledgers, it’s that the wild panthers slinking in and around the Everglades — the sole surviving tribe of Puma concolor east of the Mississippi — are apparently breeding avidly enough to replace their fallen numbers. The traffic fatalities are terrible, said Dr. Onorato, but “we must remember there’s reproduction going on, some of which we don’t document.” Call them panthers, pumas, cougars or mountain lions, but cats they remain, and cats have a defiantly syncopated way of coming back again and again. As Dr. Onorato and other researchers see it, the tale of the Florida panther is twitchier and more sinuous than its long tail, a continuing saga of highs and lows, hopes and oh nos.
2010 Gershon Hepner 1/5/10