Katrinia Kadoski lived in Clayoquot Sound for three years, caretaking ‘Cougar Annie’ Jordan’s garden, immersing herself in the folklore surrounding the legendary pioneer, while living off the grid.
In her performance, Kadoski uses dramatic narrative, images, letters and original compositions to celebrate the life of pioneer Ada Annie Jordan, who earned her nickname by shooting dozens of cougars to supplement her income.
On this edition of ‘Today in B.C.’, host Peter McCully asked Kadoski about the legend of ‘Cougar Annie’.
“She was five foot two and had hands like a logger,” said Kadoski. “You hear the stories about hunting a cougar in the middle of the night and how it had two toes in the trap and how her son Lawrie was killed, and that the person that killed him ended up getting eaten by a cougar and the buttons of that guy’s coat fell out of the belly when she skinned it open. It’s these sort of things that you can’t really make up that tend to live on for a long time in people’s imaginations. I think it’s ultimately what this story does to somebody’s imagination. I think that’s what makes it a bit infectious.”
The California-born Jordan settled in the Clayoquot coastal rainforest in 1915 with her first husband and three young children. A five-acre garden she carved out of the wilderness provided food and income throughout her long life. She gave birth to eight more children in the remote location and rarely left the property until old age and blindness forced her to relocate to Port Alberni, where she died at the age of 97.
Jordan was anything but a typical woman. She trapped more than 70 cougars, homesteaded a rainforest bog, opened a remote post office and outlived four husbands.
Kadoski has been a musician from an early age, and recently released a box set of four albums, three of which were recorded during the pandemic, the single ‘Moonbeams’ is featured during the interview.
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