Peyton Gawecki couldn’t believe what he saw over Thanksgiving weekend. The 8-year-old was sitting on the couch playing games on his dad’s phone when he had a strange feeling.
“Sometimes, I have this feeling at night time, things are watching me,” Gawecki said.
This time, something was. The 8-year-old says he locked eyes with this mountain lion.
“It looked at me for like...10 seconds," he said. "It was so frightening. I just didn’t know what to do.”
He shot video with the cell phone about 30 yards away from the creature perched on the fence in his backyard. He says the video doesn’t paint the entire pictures.
“In person, it was huge,” Gawecki said.
Living next to a wildlife preserve in the hills of Carlsbad, he and his family are used to seeing bobcats and coyotes, but this got his attention.
“When I zoomed in, I knew it was a mountain lion,” he said. “We looked at its tail and it was like long.”
The family keeps a close watch on their small dog - Bijou - and doesn’t let it off leash outside.
Now, they’re warning others about the discovery.
“I was so scared,” Gawecki said.
Even nearly two weeks later, it’s still fresh in his mind - a Carlsbad cat he’ll likely never forget.