When I was about 8 years old, I gained a very unique pet. When playing in the creek behind my family home, I spotted a damp ball of fur curled up on the bank behind two larger rocks. I reached out two fingers and pressed into it. I jumped as this fluff ball let out a tiny roar. This kitten was not like any kitten I’d ever seen. It looked completely wild. A stray, I thought. Of course, I knew not to bring him home. Dad hated cats. This would have to be my secret. I hurried inside and raided the refrigorator for any meat I could find. I grabbed a couple slices of balogna and hurried toward the back door. Mom asked, “Are you getting yourself a snack?”. I silently nodded and ran back to my new friend. He was hungry. He swallowed the balogna without hardly chewing it. Every day after school, I rushed home to see my new friend. As I usually beat my parents home, I was able to quickly grad some sandwich meat before heading out to the creek. My friend got bigger quickly. It became clear that he was no ordinary cat. One evening, my mother mentioned to me that a neighbor had spotted a cougar near the creek. She told me I was not to play in the creek anymore until someone had shot and stuffed it. Panic set in. I rushed back out to the creek, but stopped dead in my tracks when I heard the unmistakable sound of my father’s rifle.