Next time I take a picture. Because if you're going to be famous for 15 minutes, you ought to have some proof to back up your claim.
In the meantime, check out the link below for a photo of what I saw. I'll wait to begin my tale until you get back.
Driving my usual route to school, consists of gorgeous views of the mountains and maybe driving carefully through a few joggers here and there. Well, as some of you know, the most exciting thing that has ever happened along this route is the eagle spottings that come every winter.
That is until today. I was minding my own driving carefully past the Jr. High when I happened to see what I thought was a shaggy dog in the ditch. As I drove by, I began to notice the fur pattern and the pointed ears. I finally realized I was looking right at a bobcat when I saw the classic hunting pose of the pre-pounce feline.
I was late to work and I had someone stuck to my back bumper, so stopping was out of the question. I know. See the top of the post. (To quote one of my co-workers, "That must be frustrating." It is. Perhaps this will be a good motivation to leave five minutes early for work.)
I ended up being famous for about 15 minutes because I was either bright enough or dense enough, depending upon your point of view, to tell the staff that I'd seen it. Shortly after pulling into work, it occurred to me that we may need to keep our eye out for the cat in case it comes anywhere near the playground. Sometimes I need my vest on before I start to think like an aide. My only previous worry til then circled around the concern that someone may have a pet in the back yard that was about to be Mr. Bobcat's lunch. Well, the staff already knows me as a wildlife photographer, and so they had me tell the Principal. He then called the Jr. High Principal, and they decided to bring the kids in and call Wildlife Control.
Once we told the fifth graders to come in, all havoc broke loose. We're talking an emotional reaction short of panic. Sigh. To make matters worse, this decision was quickly reversed when Wildlife Control assured us that the cat would be too afraid of all the noise the kids were making to come anywhere near the playground. This left us with a playground full of hyper / half panic striken 10 and 11 year olds. Oh fun. (Wildlife Control did come out and do a search. There are kids in that neighborhood, and I wouldn't want them to get hurt.) The emotional level lent itself to rumours turning the bobcat into a cougar. By this time, I have some kids asking questions, and I was very clear about the situation. I told them I had seen it. Where it was. I also was very explicit about the size of the cat. To close, I reiterated that it will more than likely avoid the playground due to the noise. Consequently, my cool quotient went up about 10 fold, however, I felt that the famous quotient offset that. I'd probably skip the whole experience if I had to do it over again. I'd rather the kids' enjoy their recess.
So next time I take a picture. At least that way, the boys who were cougar spotting out by the fence, will have a photo to use as a visual guide.
PS - Reassuring boys that a bobcat will not be visiting their playground anytime soon only leads to severe disappointment.