Interesting. Given that big cats (mountain lions and the like) are ambush predators I tend to worry more about them. If a bear were coming at me, I would bust out my bear spray. If a cat comes at you, you'll never know until the moment.
A grizzly though. Make yourself look big... and don't run... but everything else is pretty much what to do once you are already on the ground getting chomped.
Black bears are fucking pussies most of the time.
That said, it's important to distinguish between the type of encounter, between a surprise and stalking. Stalking (repeated sightings, etc) means the animal is already considering you as prey.
You are right that if a big cat comes for you, you won't see it coming until the last few seconds (read up on non-dog big cat hunts...) but honestly a big cat is normally just warning you off it's territory. A grizzly is much more likely to decide you look like a threat that needs dealing with or eating...
So I agree with Rabinowitz in general.
Story time, I recently was going up a canyon in a very remote area and came across a track in the creek bed that froze me in place... because at a glance I thought it was a mountain lion (remote canyons are a favorite for their dens). My heart raced until further inspection indicated it was a black bear track and was at least 2-3 days old... and I breathed a sigh of relief. (sometimes its hard to tell what made traks, other times not)
Here, I found the pic I took for those curious.
A full-size large cat has killed for just about every calorie it has ever consumed. All those encounters with animals fighting for their lives and it's still here.
Several years later, he got into an argument with a shop assistant while trying to describe how he had killed a Tiger in India/Africa (memory escaped me) with a similar little knife as he found in the shop. After the shop assistant didn't believe him, Corbett got angry, abused him and was then arrested for causing a 'public hysteria'... Or so the story goes.
A Bit of an off-topic point, I know.. But I thought it was interesting to bring up. I definitely recommend reading Jim Corbett's work, it's an interesting view of life when there was a real chance of you being eaten by a man-eater, and seeing how his work hunting man-eaters led to the establishment of the Corbett national park in India.
The claim of killing a tiger with a cheese knife...yeah right. Tigers hunt big prey with sharp tusks and horns. They fight other Tigers from time to time. A dude taking one out with a cheese knife isn't even plausible.
The cheese knife thing is a bit of a laugh, but again - having read enough about the man, I wouldn't have put it past him.
"Powerful predators that kill by puncturing skulls with their tremendous bite"
"we were a leap away from an apex predator that kills with a single bite"
In this lone case you might just be wrong.
After an hour on the phone: "Mum, it’s not hurting anymore. I don’t feel the pain. Forgive me for everything. I love you so much"
Almost all the cheap Chinese phones, such as Xiaomi, come with call recorder built in. My exwife has one, for better or worse, I need to be careful what I say!
> While the jaguar often employs the deep throat-bite and suffocation technique typical among Panthera, it sometimes uses a killing method unique amongst cats: it pierces directly through the temporal bones of the skull between the ears of prey (especially the capybara) with its canine teeth, piercing the brain
So maybe, maybe not.
A young couple are about to go trekking through some woods but first have to listen to a talk from the ranger on the danger of bears. The ranger gives them each a little bell and some pepper spray and says "bears tend to avoid humans mostly and are most dangerous when surprised, so ring the bell at intervals so the bears will know humans are around and can avoid you".
He continues "if a bear does attack you, spray it in the face with the pepper spray and it should run away".
Finally he says "it's best to avoid areas containing bears completely if at all possible, so look out for bear dropping and if you see them you will know a bear is somewhere about and should change direction".
The young man say "how will we recognise the bear dropping sir?" and the ranger says "that's easy, it has little bells in it and smells of pepper"