Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mountain lion crashes Deadwood woman's hot tub soak

Morning hot tub session turns into close encounter with mountain lion similar to image.

By Tim Velder, Lawrence County Journal Saturday, December 08, 2007

DEADWOOD -- Despite sitting in a hot, bubbling Jacuzzi on her deck Thursday morning, Marlene Todd froze. She had just eased into in the hot tub a little after 7 a.m. on the deck of her Spring Street home when she heard some rustling beside her. There was a mountain lion, crouching less than a foot away.

The lion must have been equally surprised. It was cornered somewhat because the deck stairs blocked its retreat. It would have to go up and over the hot tub."It just took a leap. It jumped on the side of the hot tub," Todd said. "We locked eyes, and it kicked off of the hot tub and ran away.

When it jumped, it flipped my robe into the hot tub."Todd immediately cut short her soak and wrapped herself in her wet robe, slipped on her shoes, secured the lid on the hot tub and went inside her house.

She summoned Deadwood police, who surmised that the lion was stalking some deer that were in the neighborhood. Police also speculated that the mountain lion was staying near the warmth of the hot tub on the frosty morning. "I didn't need caffeine this morning, I know that," Todd said.

This was Todd's third brush with a mountain lion in the past two years. The first time, she saw a one near her neighbor's car early one morning. One night in April, her husband awoke to the sound of their dog barking and looked outside to see something dash away -- something that left big cat prints in the snow on the front steps. Todd was shaken by the intimate encounter and the possibility she could have been hurt. "I'm freaked," Todd said later. "Now that it's said and done,

I've gotten a close personal look at a lion. It could have been way bad, if it would have slipped and fell in the tub with me. Todd said her husband was not home at the time, and she doesn't plan to go near the hot tub without a companion."I'm not going to go out there for a while," she said.

Todd said she left her office in the Lawrence County Courthouse early Thursday, wanting to go home before dark. Another reason Todd was so shaken by the close call is that she lives in one of the older neighborhoods of Deadwood. "We live in the city limits. We're in town, and this is the third time," she said. "I now know what a goldfish feels like in a bowl when the cat is looking at it."

You can contact Tim Velder at 642-8822, ext. 17.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this.

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