Tonight, I saw what had to be a Jaguarundi. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and hike daily because I live in the forest.
At 5:45 pm, August 11 2016 – I was on my favorite trail when I walked upon a dead mouse, laying in the middle of a well manicured and 7 ft wide trail in the forest. Behind the mouse’s body, were paw prints along with kicked up dirt. There was a trail of dirt actually, with paw prints going in a zig zag style… like a cat was chasing a mouse.. . Literally.
Map showing location of Santa Cruz Mountains:
I studied the prints, and damage to the mouse’s body. I noticed that the paw prints looked smaller than a dogs paw.. smaller than my 55 pound dogs paw who wasn’t with me on this hike, and also closer together – like my cats… but bigger than hers.
But too small to worry about.
I saw saliva on the mouses neck, which let me know it was fresh. I kept walking when I realized a squirrel was making a crazy loud noise.. they do that all the time at me, though, but I wanted to see who it was this time…
I walked toward this redwood tree, where I heard him yelling from… and climbing down from the other side – comes a big black cat.
I wasn’t sure what I was seeing…
It was 10-15 times bigger than a big cat, athletic and slender, probably 35 pounds but not nearly big enough for me to be scared…. I think? It had a long tail and was all black – which was what confused me (both) and its face was round and small and the ears were more rounded than I’ve seen in any bobcat.
It wasn’t a bobcat, mountain lion or a cat.. I see these often.
The cat jumped down from the tree, 10 feet from me and slightly jogged away, looking back often because he wanted the mouse and I think he had the squirrel cornered. I was mezmerized by it so like a dummy, I walked towards it… he kept his distance though, then went running, quietly, up a set of rocks up the side of the mountain.
I wanted to watch him athletically climbed, but when I glanced up his black color blended in with the shadows and after 15 minutes of starring I could not find him.
I came home and started googling big black cats in california to see my options. I know from nature shows Jagurundi’s aren’t in California.
Bit I’m quite certain I saw one, at 1876 ft in the coastal forest and it looked amazing.
Note from Michael (Admin): This odd looking species of wild cat is not meant to be in California. That does not mean there aren’t any in that state. Joshua seems to have made a typo in writing, “It was 10-15 times bigger than a big cat”. Perhaps he meant “smaller” rather than “bigger”. He goes on to write that he estimated the weight to be around 35 pounds which is considerably heavier than as stated in Wild Cats of the World. They say the max weight it around 15 pounds which is larger than the average domestic cat but what Joshua is saying is that the cat he saw is bigger than the average domestic cat and its appearance was not that of a bobcat.
It seems that Joshua did see a jaguarundi. Thanks Joshua. This page is a copy of a comment that Joshua made on this site yesterday on this page.