Catrina Cougar

Female Cougar

Date of Birth: 1989-2008

Catrina came to Big Cat Rescue with two cougars and a black leopard on March 14, 1995. She was reported to be a Florida Panther with her deep red color and 60 lb. low slung frame. She was a pet, but when her owner moved he could not take his pets with him. Catrina is by far the sweetest cougar at the sanctuary. She is always very mellow and enjoys surveying her domain from atop her cave den. Most of our cougars have dark or spotted noses, however, Catrina’s nose is unique with it’s solid bubble gum pink color. Whenever she goes into heat her caterwauling pierces the air and can be heard throughout the sanctuary.


Even though she was a senior, Catrina always made the effort to come and see you. No matter how much her joints hurt and how much pain she was in, she would slowly struggle to get up and say hello. Catrina embodied sweetness. Catrina was a favorite among the volunteers.

Her face was exquisite, and she was especially beautiful when laying in the sun as her deep, red coloring glowed. Catrina was a former pet, and you could see how much she loved people. She never got tired of the tour groups although she would often lay and watch the people go by.
We are sad to say good-bye to another cougar. We will miss her…Laura Lluellyn-Lassiter


Each animal at BCR is special to me in some way.  Catrina was one of only two cougars who loved the fresh catnip I grow (for my own darling children) and would occasionally bring in as a treat.  (The other cougar who loved my catnip was Cleo).  I shared catnip with just about everyone whose cage I cleaned and was delighted to see some of the bobcats, servals, and other smaller cats just go wild over it.  However, I was a bit surprised when Catrina and Cleo reacted similarly – I guess one just doesn’t expect to see such a large animal nuzzling and rolling over a small piece of catnip.  Anyway, after I found out that these two loved it, I made sure to include them.  They both always brought a smile to my face and I was glad that I could give them a special enrichment treat.  Oh, how I do love them all!!!……..Karen, Volunteer Partner


Catrina was definitely a unique cat. When I first started out, I rarely if ever saw her. She had become the ‘Bigfoot’ of Big Cat Rescue to me. I heard about her, but never saw her. When I started operant, I saw Staff Jen go over her barricade and drop in a chick with her morning pill. Slowly and surely, Catrina made her appearance, and wow – was she beautiful! Such grace and elegance at her age.  She was delighted with her morning snack and that put a smile on my face. Since then, every operant morning, I said my ‘good mornings’ to her and saw her raise her head in acknowledgement. It was hard to hear about her passing. She was a cat I had wished to be able to work with. Her hardships in life are now over and she’s at rest with her fellow friends who we’ve also lost. Catrina, run hard and strong through the vast fields in the heavens. You will be missed….Shiloh, Volunteer Keeper Trainee


Catrina was one of the smartest, sweetest cougars on the property.  Every time I cleaned her enclosure, she would greet me with that throaty, scratchy voice of hers.  She would always make an attempt to come over to see me, even when she was in pain….she would just let out a hiss and bear the pain just to have some company.  When she didn’t want to leave her cave, you could be sure she was watching you….waiting for you to fnd her. She used to give me goose bumps when I gave her enrichment….she chewed her bloodsicles!!!!!  Do cougars get brain freeze???   I love her and I miss her a lot.  Now she no longer has to hide from the thunderstorms…she can watch them all from heaven……Regina, Senior Volunteer Keeper


We all loved that sweet “Pinky nose’ with that very special ‘trumpet voice’…

Now she is with our boy who had the most perfect ‘heart shaped nose’ – Sylvester.

I really think she had a thing for him… but of course, who didn’t???

Well, they are all together and happy now and forever…

Thank you Catrina for giving us so much joy during all these years… and thank you for leaving us with your girl…

We’ll take good care of her, as we did with you…Marie, Senior Volunteer Keeper


Catrina was absolutely beautiful – particularly when she would look at you with those big, glorious eyes and that cute pink nose.  There were times when I really believed she understood everything I would say to her.  She would get a wise look in her eyes and start purring.  She was also incredibly smart.  She picked up on the operant conditioning very quickly, with the exception of the open mouth.  Since she was so food motivated, she would close her mouth almost as fast as she opened it.  Like Morgan, she would walk with me around the cage when I would tell her “walkabout.”  It was our exercise program.  I know she has crossed the “rainbow bridge” and is now romping through the open fields with Morgan, Scratch, Squeaker, Cleo, Sylvester and Glory.  I wish it wasn’t getting so crowded there.  I miss them…..Susan, Senior Volunteer Keeper


My memories of Catrina are that she was possibly the sweetest and kindest of the BCR cougars.  I also loved watching Susan and Catrina work together and the mutual respect for each other.  One of the funniest things I remember is when we closed off the back part of her cat-a-tat and a make-shift feeding stone and bucket were put up front for her, near the tour path.  Clearly, she had an opinion on the change since, when I went to clean her enclosure, I found that she had pooped on top of the new feeding stone…..Lisa, Volunteer Keeper


Some will remember Catrina for her cute pink nose. But I will always remember those very distinctive facial markings of hers. To me, she always looked like a human wearing a fantastic Cougar Mardi Gras Mask.  It was so ironic when the hurricane they named Katrina came along and nearly destroyed Mardi Gras, the thing I most associated with our Catrina.

Just days before leaving us, I was handing out enrichment “bloodsicles” to all the cougars and heard her raspy little voice calling me over from her den.  She made it clear that that was not a treat she intended to miss out on and she enjoyed it with gusto. The saying, “she lived until the day she died” truly applied to this magnificent cougar. I’m so happy she got to spend her last month so close to her own little girl, Aspen.….Julie, Senior Volunteer Keeper


Catrina struck me as a very demure cougar.  I remember her peeking at me from inside her den box with her beautiful eyes and cute pink nose.  While her Florida panther ancestry may not be certain, if Catrina was out while I was giving a tour, I’d always stop by her enclosure and tell people about panthers and their struggle to survive in the wild.  Catrina was a wonderful ambassador who definitely did her part to educate the public about the plight of panthers and their cousins in captivity and in the wild…..Patricia, Volunteer Keeper
Catrina was the first cougar I ever fell in love with and she has been geatured in many of the article about BCr that I have written over the years.  Of all the cats at Big Cat Rescue, when I first visited in 2001, I never expected to come home having fallen in love with a cougar!  Lions, leopards, tigers – yes, but not a cougar.  however, sometimes a cat chooses you and I felt this way about Catrina.  everytime i would pass by her cage, she would come out and just watch me.  Above all else, it was her expressive eyes that I loved, they looked deep into your soul and I know that I could never have lied to that cat.  Over the years, i took many photos and video clips of her, and have some wonderful memories of our times together.  Rest well little girl, you are the cougar who instigated my love of this magnificent species and will forever have a special place in my heart…Daphne, Volunteer Trainee

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