Nobody has asked me this question. Which is a little odd until I consider the fact the few folks who have read the book know me pretty well. If you know me pretty well then you’ll probably figure out I like cougars. Off Leash began life as a silly nanowrimo project while my brain cooled off from writing a complicated space opera. Had I sat down and said Freelance Familiars would be my first novel that was good enough to publish I never would have written it. It’s a story I wrote for myself.
So Thomas became a cougar because cougars are awesome.
They’re essentially giant house cats both in terms of behavior: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rh28xjP4io and biology http://www.felidaefund.org/?q=species-mountain-lion
If your house cat is built like a mac truck.