Yesterday I was getting my hair done at the salon and started chatting with another woman there. There is a special sort of bonding that takes place when you’re both sitting there with your hair full of sheets of foil. I can’t remember what led up to this particular story but she started telling me about the time she found a bobcat for her husband.
It seems that her husband has an interest in stuffed animals. Not the Beanie Baby sort but the stuffed roadkill sort. He had mentioned to her that he would love to have a stuffed bobcat someday. So, as luck would have it, one evening she is driving down the road with her 3 and 8 year old children and there, in the road is a dead bobcat. What’s more, it looks to be in good shape. Naturally, her first thought is “present for hubby!”. Which is so not what I think when I see roadkill but then, I didn’t grow up in Oklahoma.
She tells the kids to stay in the car, gets a stick from the ditch along the road and POKES…AT…THE…BOBCAT. Gotta make sure it’s dead, right? It doesn’t move. She notices that it has blood coming from its nose and ears but otherwise is in great shape and will be a perfect addition to the household decor after a trip to the taxidermist.
She makes the kids get in the front seat and puts the bobcat on the floor in the back. She drives to her husband’s deer processing business to surprise him but he’s already left. She then starts toward home. At a stop sign, while waiting for traffic to pass (“traffic” probably means one or two cars) her 8 year old son gasps and says, “It’s sitting up!”. She nearly has a heart attack before her son then assures her he was just kidding. Eight year old boys are so hilarious.
When she is nearly home she sees her husband’s truck coming toward her, flashes her lights at him and they stop in the middle of the road. He gets out of the truck to see what she wants, she tells him she has a big surprise for him and points to the back of the car. He looks, reaches in for the three year old and tells her to take the kids home in the truck and he will drive the car. She starts to question him but he interrupts and tells her to just do it.
When they get home he informs her that the *dead* bobcat is not dead but is, in fact, still breathing. Now, I’m not exactly certain what I would do at this point but I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t put it in my laundry room. But again, I didn’t grow up in Oklahoma so what do I know? Her husband calls the vet who says it probably won’t live through the night.
The next day she goes to do some laundry and the bobcat is still lying over in the corner looking for all the world like a dead bobcat. Her husband comes in as she’s putting the laundry in the dryer and he gasps. She looks up at him, asks him what’s wrong and he is speechless. He points to where the bobcat was lying only now it is sitting up looking at them.
They both race for the door, arriving at the same time and struggle through, slamming the door behind them. The door has a window in the top half so they pull aside the curtain and peek inside. Yep. The bobcat is alive.
The rest of the story involved catching it in a trashcan, taking it to her husband’s processing plant, escapes, captures, and eventual release back into the wild after it had recovered.
After she finished telling this incredible story I told her that this was precisely why I was glad I moved to Oklahoma. I would never have heard a great story like this if I had stayed in California.