Monday, March 30, 2009

A Rabid Bobcat Walks Into a Bar ...

From The Arizona Republic

COTTONWOOD - A bobcat walked into a roadside bar in Cottonwood.

What happened next was not a joke but "pandemonium": two or three minutes of chivalry, cellphone cameras and people jumping on top of pool tables to get out of the way.

When it was over, two people were scratched and bleeding, and the bobcat was gunned down by police in a parking lot on Main Street.

All that's left now is a barroom story that is sure to become legend.

And a series of rabies-vaccine shots.

"This was a rabid animal," said Zen Mocarski of the Arizona Game and Fish office in Kingman. "You've seen the cartoon Tasmanian Devil? That's a bobcat with rabies."

.... At about 11:40, three people walked out of the Chaparral, a neighborhood bar with signs for Schlitz, Budweiser and Coors over the entrance. Tuesday is free-pool night.

"I said goodnight," said bartender Scott Hughes, 41. "Next thing I know, they are running back in, followed by the bobcat.

"One jumped on the pool table, and two more jumped onto the bar."

The bar's video camera recorded what happened next.

The bobcat chased two people around a pool table.

Then, the animal stopped.

That's when people took out their cellphone cameras to get a picture.

Hughes told Kyle Hicks that he should not get too close to the bobcat.

"A bartender is supposed to command authority," Hughes said. "But he didn't listen to me."

In the video, Hughes can be seen reaching down to move Hicks.

That's when the cat jumped on Hicks' face, scratching him under his left eye and behind his right ear.

"Yeah, it didn't feel too good," Hicks said.

Hicks then knocked the animal to the ground.

"Look up 'pandemonium' in the dictionary," Hughes said. "That's what this bar was."

The 20 or so patrons started scrambling toward the back door. But so did the bobcat, which was now looking for a way out.

That's when Derek Oliver showed you can find a good man late at night in a Cottonwood bar.

"He was coming right towards two women," Oliver said. "So, I pushed them out of the way. That's when he got me. It wrapped itself around my leg."

Worse yet, the bobcat was moving up Oliver's leg.

"I punched it in the face real good," Oliver said.

The animal laid still for a moment, then it ran back out the front door.

By this time, police had arrived and found the animal in the parking lot.

"It started walking towards one of my officers," said Sgt. Gary Eisenga of the Cottonwood Police Department.

The officer shot the animal, killing it.

Witnesses said they heard three shots.

"We've had calls to that bar before, but never for a bobcat," Eisenga said.

By Thursday afternoon, Hicks had received his first of five rabies shots.

"In the arm," Hicks said. "They don't do it in the abdomen anymore. Thank God."

To which I can add: Only in America.

Of couse, these things happen. Rabid bobcat attacks make the news again and again. Ditto rabid coyotes, rabid fox, and rabid raccoons.

Me? I have no fear of rabid animals. The trick is to stay out of the bars.

1 comment:

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

It isn't the rabid animals you have to look out for, you know; there's far,far worse out there.

No, its the lumberjacks you really have to be careful of...