This is an editorial about recent "big cat" sightings we have had in our area this spring. I have posted the article in its entirety since this comes from a subscription site. I was just wondering if any other Midwestern states have been experiencing these sightings. Our area is big on outdoor activities--hiking, fishing, hunting, mushroom hunting, etc.--so people are concerned. We even had a list published of what to do if you should come upon a cougar while you were hiking. Principally: Do not turn your back on the cougar. Look him right in the eyes, pull yourself up to make yourself look as big as possible, and make as much noise as you can while moving backwards at a very gentle pace. If you should be attacked, roll up in the fetal position if possible. If you can't do that, try to fight him off by striking his eyes and nose, his most vulnerable areas. Cougar Sightings Hardly Ridiculous Editorial May 19, 2005 The increasing number of cougar sightings in Monroe County reported on in the past week ought not shock anyone, nor should they be made fun of. We're not talking Bigfoot here. We're talking about a known, perfectly normal animal that used to roam all of the Midwest before it was driven out by white settlers. We're talking about an animal known to be migrating steadily eastward back across the Great Plains and the Midwest, an animal already confirmed to be in western and southern Illinois. Second, the reports have been coming both from people who have been scared stiff by something they saw at close range or who have been very calm, observant and businesslike in reporting what they saw. Third, there just are too many reports coming our way to think they're all from delusional folks. One or two people might be wrong, but not six, eight or 10. If Monroe County has one or more cougars, it could well be the eastward migration is exceeding the pace that the experts thought. As it is, there have been sporadic reports of cougar sightings across much of southwestern Indiana for years. Hysteria is hardly called for. But it also isn't hysteria to urge hikers to exercise care and keep an eye out, and even have a camera at the ready to take pictures of tracks, scat or even a cougar itself. You just might get the photo that would prove the skeptics and experts with closed minds wrong.