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Helen O'Reilly's Spunky Blog

Reading, for me, leads to writing, as day leads into night and night back into day; they are halves of a whole. I was one of those kids who cracked the code early; I've been reading since I was three, and the writing came later once I'd learned to hold a pencil, but when it came, it really burst forth. Everything a working writer does I have done-- I have written and published everything, from corporate annual reports, to radio ads, children's poetry, -fiction and -non-fiction, to memoir and now, my first novel for adults. Spunk, a Fable is a lot like me; "just dirty enough."

"Panic in Las Vegas as Carpenter Fire Drives Wild Cougars into Suburban Backyards"



Forced by fire to flee their native habitat, wild cougars have been turning up in suburban Las Vegas backyards, frightening householders with their antics, and even threatening small pets, say officials.

"They usually stay hidden during the day, as it takes, like, forever for them to get ready for a hunt, but with the fire and all, they are abandoning their beauty rituals and running for their lives," said BLM agent Evelyn Crabtree, who has studied the species since its emergence in the late 90s.

But they are wily, and they are fierce, especially when they're desperate. "And boy are they desperate now," said Crabtree, who maintains that the Las Vegas wild cougar is an invasive species, but only when she smells prey. "Cabana boys, Valet Parking Attendants, and Massage Therapists" are her usual diet, but "these days we've been getting reports of local soccer dads and even grocery baggers being dragged away by these vicious creatures."

"My Harry was under the car in the driveway, and one of these females just dragged him away by the legs!" says a local woman, who refused to give her name. "All we found later were his flip-flops and his Sansabelt slacks, up in a tree!"

"How to Spot the Las Vegas Wild Cougar"

These normally nocturnal creatures have been successful largely because they are able to blend into the environment, abandoning the muu-muus of an older generation, donning tight-fitting animal print clothing, and teasing their hair into elaborate structures normally associated with lions' manes. But there are ways you can tell you're in cougar territory. "They have their little tells," said Crabtree. Often, these are the items associated with the "cougar lifestyle." Finding them discarded on or near your property could indicate you or your loved ones have been marked as "cougar-prey." They include:

Empty Wine Boxes
Botox vials
Discarded Wonderbras
Frederick's of Hollywood paraphernalia, including tote bags, receipts, and catalogs

"How to Protect Yourself from the Las Vegas Wild Cougar"

"Once one of these gals gets her claws into you, she hangs on like grim death," says Edna Flemm, who calls herself a "recovering cougar."

But, she adds, "there are things you can do to make yourself less attractive to the Las Vegas Wild Cougar." These include combovers, T-shirts worn tucked into trousers, and, for surefire cougar-proofing, adopting a "hobo" look. "My advice to any guy out there who wants to avoid being cougar prey is to start shuffling along East Fremont holding your pants up with one hand and a cardboard sign in the other." Says Flemm. "That's about the only kinda man that is 100% invulnerable to the cougar. The East Fremont Hobo."