Hancock has entertained us before with coy tales of a Seal in My Sleeping Bag (1972) and a Raccoon in My Parka (1977). This time around, however, she seems to have bats in her belfry. Hancock and her zoologist husband welcomed four baby cougars to their small home, already occupied by a large menagerie. Tom, Oola, Lara, and Tammy flourished for several months, chasing around the kitchen and providing Hancock's Vancouver fourth-graders with creative writing opportunities. Fostered out for awhile, they proved to be children of crisis: for reasons Hancock can't comprehend, neighbors were sniffy about cougars next door, especially after a toddler was scratched. Those with fantasies of cuddling wild animals will count up the adorablenesses but pet-less readers will recognize the syndrome--the pet owner's oblivion to cutie-pie's destructions. Those who believe wild animals should remain wild will have an even harder time with Hancock's relentless ""mothering"" and wholly humanizing approach. And the peculiar ending--in which cougar Tom's sudden death precipitates the break-up of Hancock's marriage--seems grafted from another genre entirely.