Would love to see more pics, especially the tail. That is the only real way to tell with the black and white pics that really don't show the ears. We have brown and black cougars in east TN and right now I will say it looks like one to me. If you have a pic of the tail, remember a cougars tail will touch the ground.
Your right two bear. Tail is the only way to know for sure. Bob cat has the distict bobbed rounded tail. Many years ago before the development in my area, I seen one taken that size. There are brown and black cougars in east TN? What areas if you dont mind me asking.
I live in east Tn in Blount co. I saw a black on two years ago on the foothills parkway late in the evening. He was sitting in the middle of the road and his tail curved around and touched the ground. He heard my jeep coming and in one quick pounce was up the ridge and gone. Several reports of black ones and brown have come from east Tn near the park and Monroe co.
Your right. Coyotes will eat cats, dogs small farm animals and anything else they can get. I know the big cats scare a lot of people but they were here years ago and were hunted out. I think it's good they are back because they were here previously and are part of the cycle or the chain. If God put them here then they should be here. Coyotes are just too many and need to be monitored and shot by farmers and hunters because of their destructive nature. They are like the hog problem in Texas.