Some of my friends who are into being prepared are going to be critical of the couple in this story.
Briefly, a woman saved her husband's life while he was being attacked by a cougar by beating on it with a stick. Sounds like the cougar made a poor bite, and the couple exploited their luck.
Would a gun have made things easier? You bet. Probably not for the guy initially, as he was jumped by the quiet kitty, and still would have been. But yeah, it would have been nice for her to have been able to shoot it. But we live in a world that has decided to describe "armed" as "dangerous." Or worse yet, being armed is seen as tantamount with intent to do harm, these days. In many places, I'm sorry to say, the threat of a felony and spending the rest of your days away from your loved ones looms if you take the simple precaution of arming yourself with a firearm. To many of us, that's an unacceptable risk.
What about a knife? Well, again, many areas get a little skittish about big Randall sheath knives or Bowie knives. But how about a decent little lockblade? My wife always has her Gerber LST with her. I've generally got a Ken Onion Chive with me. These are itty bitty knives, and receive little or no concern to any but the most freakishly-secured location. Hell, before 9/11, you could carry 'em on airplanes with no worries. But they hold superb edges, and could, if absolutely necessary, provide a sharp point or a sharp edge to end such an attack. Think improvised claw.
If there's an ongoing threat, of course, a sharp edge may be useful in fashioning a spear. But I'm really more interested in the response to an instant threat.
In the story, the attack victim implored his wife to use the pen in his pocket on the big cat's eye as it was locked on his head. She tried, but the pen bent. Hey-- good try, though. That took guts on her part, and thinking on his. Back when I worked in a jail that disallowed weapons of ANY kind (including the knives traditionally carried as cutdown tools), I usually made a point of carrying a decent steel-barreled pen while doing time checks. Hey-- I had to have a pen to mark down times and initial anyway, yes? But that steel pen was just a little less likely to break down in the unlikely circumstance that I had to shove it hard into a critter. (I'm happy to report that I never had to use force on anyone in the jail, beyond some restraints.)
The main thing about this story, is that they had the mindset that they weren't beat. They had the attitude that all is not over, just because it looks pretty bad initially. They fought back. The wife should be proud of herself.
Now, will she learn a lesson, and prepare a little bit to respond more effectively in the next instance of danger? I hope so.