The Sideshow

Man calls police on ‘cougar’; turns out to be house cat

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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It's not a cougar, just Captain Jenks. (KVAL.com)

Police in Salem, Oregon, responded to a call about a cougar invading a man's backyard. A neighbor who spotted the beast estimated it weighed 45 to 55 pounds. Police were quick to respond, as even a young cougar, or mountain lion, could pose a serious risk, were it to attack.

However, after reviewing pictures of the alleged cougar, it turns out the unwanted visitor was nothing more than a domesticated feline. That's right, the mysterious terror was just a Maine Coon, one of the most popular breed of house cats in North America.

Last month, police in Santa Monica, California, shot and killed a mountain lion that was roaming near a downtown promenade, sparking protest from animal rights activists.

Maine Coon cats are a large breed and have been surrounded by folklore for centuries, with rumors that their oversize paws and expert hunting skills came about as a result of breeding with raccoons. And the Oregon resident who called police on this fluffy creature was not alone in mistaking its origins. Despite being known for its intelligence and playful nature, some people used to think the Maine Coon came about from average cats interbreeding with American bobcats.

After the initial report of the "cougar" spotting, police reported the kitty "moved on without threatening anyone."

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