I woke up at 3 AM and couldn't get back to sleep, this was probably for lack of good exercise yesterday. I dressed quietly and tried to not wake my wife as I slipped outside with my computer for a bit of reading. So I'm out on the deck with no lights on and reading from this notebook computer. I closed the lid to contemplate for a moment, and saw a pair of eyes looking at me from 30 feet away in the carport. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck rise. We have a cougar in the area, and he is here, now? I've seen him twice before, but he was never this close to me. All of the sudden that 30 feet felt more like three feet. There is a moon tonight, but I am in the shade of it and of course, so is the carport. I cannot see well at all, and I'd just closed the screen on this 'puter so my eyes were slowly adjusting to the darkness. Because we know about the cougar and we have livestock, I am rarely without a sidearm at home. Fine, except it is in my coat pocket and I'm sitting here with this PC in my lap. Now what? Slowly I emptied my lap, and quietly maneuvered myself into a slightly less vulnerable position. I suppose it took 30 long seconds to accomplish this, but I finally had a gun in my hand. I'd never imagined such a scenario. I know my gun is loaded, a round is in the chamber, it is ready to fire. My index finger is alongside the barrel but can be on the trigger in a flash. Those eyes have not even blinked, this is really unsettling. One of the rules of gun safety is to never shoot unless you are sure of your target, whats beyond it, and are prepared to destroy it. Dang, its black as pitch in the carport, I cannot even see my truck, just those eyes. If it leaps it would be on me in one second. Right then I was wishing my pistol was a 75 caliber with a hundred or so hollow point rounds in the magazine, full auto would be nice as long as I'm wishing. How do I end this? I wish I knew more about cougars. I thought for a while, then decided to slowly stand and back into the house as slowly and quietly as possible. You know I made it, you're reading this. After a few deep breaths, I grabbed my large, powerful flashlight with my left hand and stepped back out to the deck. The eyes were still there. With my pistol at the ready. I turned on the flashlight. No cougar. The "eyes" were a reflection of the moon from a window, which then reflected off my truck's door. Skeered this boy, it did. This is titled "Fire Discipline" for a reason. IF my fear, and near certainty those were cougar "eyes", were enough justification to fire my weapon, my truck door (and from the angle, my motor) would have 13 shiny new holes about 9mm in diameter. I suspect my insurance might not pony up the cost of those repairs. May my foolishness bless you with a lesson learned... not to mention a good laugh.