When Cheyenne-area resident Jenny Belmont went to let her dogs out at about 8 a.m. one recent morning, she got a surprise.
“The dogs started backing up a storm, and when she went to see what was going on, that thing was down in the window well and started swatting at her,” her husband, Vince Belmont, told Cowboy State Daily.
“That thing” was a young female mountain lion.
Certainly, the couple’s three dogs – a Staffordshire terrier and two Chihuahuas – were no match for the intruder. So, the couple quickly shooed the dogs inside their home, which is in a small subdivision near the Colorado border.
Vince Belmont said he immediately called the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which promptly sent game wardens to deal with the big cat.
Meanwhile, he had time to shoot a TikTok video that quickly went viral on that and other social media platforms.
Cat Was Probably Seeking Shelter
“The weird thing is, some of our neighbors have all of these chickens and goats and other things that the mountain lion could have eaten, but it didn’t,” Vince Belmont said. “Instead, it just jumped our backyard fence.”
Video from the Belmont’s doorbell camera shows the cat coming over the fence, then pushing aside a grate covering the window well before leaping down into it, he said.
Game and Fish wardens later surmised the mountain lion was probably just seeking shelter, he said. It likely wanted to sleep the day away inside the window well, then get moving again once night fell.
“It saw our tall fence, and then once it got over that it saw an even better form of shelter,” Vince Belmont said.
‘In My Living Room’
Game wardens at first tried putting a ladder into the window well and coaxing the cat to come out on its own so they could get a clear tranquilizer dart shot, he said. When the cat refused to budge, they darted it where it was.
“They pulled her through the basement window, and then carried in through the house,” Vince Belmont said. “Right up the stairs and into my living room.”
The mountain lion was put into a secure crate, then taken to the mountains and released, he said.
“People who saw the video were joking with me,” he said. “They were asking, ‘Why didn’t you keep it?’” And I was like, ‘Sure, I could just feed it through my basement window.’”