Large cats are magnificent and captivating, made all the more fascinating when you happen to share an urban metropolis with them. For many years I have been among those who follow a particular cat known only as P22. He made a bold and dangerous migration from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Hollywood Hills crossing both the 405 and 101 freeways where he now finds his Hollywood fame.
The majestic Cougar resides in the neighboring hills surrounding the Griffith Park area, where he has stirred up both controversy and conversation. He’s found himself in precarious situations on personal property. And once had to get help from animal rescue for possible ingestion of a poisoned animals. He was later returned to his chosen home healthy, with another story added to his name.
This beautiful and brave cat has helped to start an important conversation about how we live with wildlife in populated and urban areas. In the Santa Monica mountains alone researchers have monitored over 50 cougars that often share neighborhoods with nearby humans. Because of P22 and his high-profile the dialogue has now been opened in a documentary film The Cat That Changed America. The film has been officially selected for the DTLA Film Festival on Friday, September 29th at 7 pm Regal LA Live Cinema, followed by a Q&A with Beth Pratt-Bergstrom from Save LA Cougars and Poison Free Malibu.
Photos by Miguel Ordenana.