When things go bump in the night, the list of things that could have caused that bump generally include an intruder or maybe something falling off of a wall, or a child deciding to get up and play instead of catch some zzz’s. That the bump could have been caused by a mountain lion and raccoon fighting on your roof, then rolling to the ground just beneath your bedroom window, doesn’t usually enter one’s mind as a possibility. But that’s exactly what happened to Simi Valley, California resident Matt Finton and his wife Wednesday night. Finton posted the scary narrative, complete with audio of the raccoon fighting for its life and photos of the mountain lion, on his Facebook page.
“So it’s been an interesting night. At about 3:30am my wife and I were awoken by something big on our roof. There was a loud bang, a long screech and a rolling sound as something fell off the roof and rolled into the side of the house directly under our bedroom window. The screeching and fighting continued for what seemed like an eternity and I ran around to the sun room window to see what it was. I thought it would be a raccoon killing a possum or fighting another raccoon… but low and behold I am suddenly standing about 6 feet from a fully grown mountain lion with a very large raccoon in its mouth taking it’s last breaths and making sure everyone heard them.
Well, that’s what happens when you live in the hills, right? We’ve built too far into mountain lion territory, and this is just the price we pay. Not quite. This subdivision was built in 1975 and isn’t close to open land.
“Keep in mind. This is deep in a sub division off Erringer and Alamo. No where near the hills.
“After beating a hasty retreat back into the main part of the house I called 911 and informed them that a mountain lion had just committed murder in our back yard. The cat then moved to the other side of the back yard where it set off the motion sensor lights. 3 officers arrived within minutes and we all stared in disbelief at this roughly 100 pound cat right outside my kitchen window! Fast forward 10 minutes and I have 7 police officers in my kitchen watching this damn thing wondering what the heck to do about it as it calmly takes up residence in my back yard.
“15 to 30 minutes after that 2 park service game wardens arrive with dart guns. They say this is the second night in a row that they’ve been woken by the police because of a mountain lion in Simi. And the kicker is this isn’t the same cat. My guest doesn’t have a tag.
“After yet another 20 minutes as they prep their darts drug cocktail and the cat is still 14 feet away from the house enjoying it’s midnight snack. When ready we opened the Window and attempted to dart it but the cat ran back to the other part of the yard and eventually jumped the wall of the property.
The next hour had to have been tense.
“Everyone waited to see if it would come back to claim its kill and after a solid hour amazingly it did and they were able to dart it. It jumped the wall and they are looking for it as I write this.
“The theory is that the recent fires forced them to venture deeper into town to find food. But for all my friends and neighbors please be mindful and watch your pets!
“Thanks to Simi PD and my friendly neighborhood game wardens. Everyone was super cool in sharing this surreal experience.
“P.S My wife was able to record part of the sound that woke us. Sweet dreams everyone!
“6:30 Update! They are still looking for the now very drugged cat but it’s not asleep and is leading them on a merry chase all over the neighborhood!
“7am The cat is caught. Still have a very dead raccoon in my yard.”
Local TV stations soon had helicopters overhead and the cat’s removal was given the full OJ Simpson Bronco Chase coverage.
By evening the California Department of Fish & Wildlife announced that the male cat had been collared and “relocated to a suitable nearby habitat.” They also noted that before he was tranquilized the lion “was jumping neighborhood fences like they were not even there.”
The Finton family’s encounter with a mountain lion comes about a week after a female mountain lion entered two different Simi Valley backyards and killed a dog. The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife also posted a link to a website with tips for keeping mountain lions out of your yard.