This is the story of the final days with Windwalker, a cougar who lived at Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary & Retreat Center.
Windwalker is a cougar who came into what appeared to be a spiritual state of beauty and gentleness as he reached a ripe old age. In his book Alzheimer's Isn't What You Think It Is, Elmer Green describes how statements of great spiritual wisdom came through his wife even as Alzheimer's destroyed her physical brain and left her unable to speak for months. It was as if she were occupying two worlds at once, bringing glimpses from beyond. Perhaps as age weakens the grip of biological forces on the brain, a similar thing happens with all old creatures—humans and animals—allowing a connection with the larger life forces to blossom.
As he neared the end of his days, he became more and more connected to humans and was a powerful force in the retreats. At 13 years of age, the vets said he would soon pass away from from congestive heart failure, but he so wanted to teach about cougars and the possibilities for a better human-wildlife connection, that he stayed, against all odds, for another whole year. He passed away just after finishing the last retreat of 2011, where several people had flown in just to see him one more time.
Thanks to Rose De Dan for footage from her Walk on the Wild Side retreat, in September 2011 and to Chris Ahrens and Adam Lamar for their original music.