Commenters made references to Kim Cattrell and Jennifer Anniston. Why? Because the word cougar means something different these days, at least in California:
COUGAR: An attractive woman in her 30′s or 40′s who is on the hunt once again.
So, that’s a cougar. Here’s a mountain lion from Marin County, California:
And what about puma? Well, everybody knows that’s a kind of shoe from Germany. (See fake Michael Schumacher wearing a pair of Puma car racing togs right here, just before his Ferrari F355 Spider got towed by the SFPD.)
So, a cougar is a person, a puma is a shoe, and a mountain lion is a mountain lion. Simple, right?
Now you’re talking Californian. Enjoy.