The Lion in Winter

Narla - Glocester's Mountain Lion


News broke early Wednesday that there was a lion in Glocester. What in the world was a lion doing in Chepachet in January? Hunting wildebeest and gazelle? Terrorizing small children? Searching for a yellow brick road? It turns out that it was an 13 year-old pet mountain lion, cared for and accepted in the neighborhood for years, which was about to be relocated to a sanctuary. So as the Providence media programmed thier GPS devices, packed their overnight bags and headed for the wild savanna of Glocester, Narla and her owners snookered them all and whsikered-her-off to her new retirement condo in Boca (actually Tampa) before the great safari could begin.

But the lack of a lion, or a story, didn’t dissuade cable TV’s Animal Planet, the Providence Journal, or several TV stations from forming camp on Whipple Road and harassing  Narla’s owners and neighbors for a story anyway. After a journey out this far, you can’t return to civilization empty-handed. There had to be something nefarious going on.

Oh, if they only had a brain.

On May 25, 1826, Betty the Learned Elephant was shot and killed on the Chepachet River Bridge in a locally infamous incident. Luckily for Narla and her owner, quick thinking spared them a  21st century version of a similar fate.

But happily, Narla will be spending the sunset of her life in a much warmer climate in a Tampa, Florida at a facility managed by the non-profit, Big Cat Rescue. And she will reside in anonymity a mere 90 minutes from Windemere, Florida, where another Florida cat is under an intense media seige — ‘Tiger’ Woods.


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