In May of this year an unnamed woman on a visit to Richmond, VA discovered what she thought was a large cat wedged between fence panels outside the house in which she was staying. The woman wasted no time and rescued the cat straight away.
Bringing the animal inside she noticed how vocal it was and how much bigger it seemed than a normal domestic cat.
The woman took to Craigslist to announce that she had found a “lost cat”. In her post, according to Cats on Catnip she wrote: “FOUND cat last night was stuck in between my fence screaming its head off. I brought it inside because it looks too big and healthy for a stray and dogs here escape often and will eat cats that get out.
It is very thick and has little stripes and spots on its legs and big white round spots on the back of its ears, only thing that looks wrong with him is he doesn't have a tail, but it doesn't seem like anything new.”
It wasn’t long before the woman received words of warning due to her having found a bobcat. Bobcats are predatory felines. If cornered they can inflict nasty wounds on humans. They have been known to bring down deer.
Realising her mistake the woman claimed she was not from the United States and was unfamiliar with the appearance of the bobcat. She quickly freed the animal.
In a separate incident, a woman was charged with a criminal offence after taking in two bobcat kittens that, she said, she thought were domestic cats. Due to their being separated from their mother, the kittens died.
The case was cited as a reminder of the importance of keeping interaction with wild animals to a minimum.