At that moment, I wasn’t entirely sure which was scariest. The massive bear standing a few yards away, roaring its displeasure at finding me in ‘its’ woods, or the wild cat that stood between me and the bear, letting out a loud yowl (That, and how mad my mom would be once I got home in my torn jeans, but I’ll deal with that later). I was sitting on the ground, back pressed uncomfortably against a tree. My jeans were torn, my hands bloodied, but otherwise I was unharmed. Only terrified. The bear let out another roar of fury, seemingly more at the cat then me. The puma had appeared just as the bear went to knock me to the ground. It screamed fiercely, unmoved by the much larger mammal facing it. There was an eerie moment of silence, where the only sound was my quick breathing. The bear glared at the puma, who glared right back, with a short, sharp hiss, as if to make a point. After another moment, the bear lowered itself to all fours with a slight grunt. After an upset, but halfhearted swipe towards the cat, it lumbered off. The cat had easily dodged the swipe by leaning back. It snorted, shaking its head. At the zoo, this would have been very amusing to see, but here, in the middle of the Montana Mountains, it was anything but. My heart froze as the cat turned to face me, tail lashing. Oh great. I thought, despite myself. So instead of getting mauled by a bear, I’m eaten by a puma? I gripped the tree trunk behind me with both hands, until I felt a warm trickle of blood run down them. The cat sniffed the air, and slowly padded towards me, huffing quietly. I closed my eyes, and sucked in my breath.