- Two summers ago, while eating breakfast on the deck at my parents' house, I saw what I thought was a mountain lion in the apple orchard. I alerted everyone at the table and as the large cat came closer to the house, I yelled for everyone to run inside. I had also read just days before about a bear sighting in the area, and might have yelled something about that too. People enjoyed pointing out that there are no mountains around my parents' house and it was determined that the mountain lion was a feral cat. Everyone made fun of me.
- Months later, while driving around Letchworth State Park, I was convinced I saw a monkey riding on the back of a motorcycle. Aware that I already had one strike against me with the mountain lion, I debated not saying anything. However, I was so sure that I had seen a monkey and that the sighting would vindicate me, I shouted it out and demanded that we turn around to follow the motorcycle. It turns out it was a grown man riding around with a stuffed orangutan on the back of his bike. Everyone made fun of me. To be fair though, who the hell does that?
-Months later, on my way home from a trip to Boston, I was one of only two cars parked at a rest stop on the thruway. Standing outside of the car drinking a coffee and stretching, I saw something moving in the distance. Squinting to make it out, I noticed that it was quickly running in my direction. It was super fast and coming right at me and I knew I wouldn't have enough time to get in the car. I debated jumping on the hood of the car, but I froze with fear and just stood there as the large cat with its giant tail ran right past me. After it happened I got in the car and could only laugh because I knew no one was going to believe me. I called my mother and even she said, "Ooh, was it a tiger, Jess?" I later received numerous emails with the subject line, "Was this the cat?" which included pictures like this.
So anyway, I was thrilled today to hear about the sightings and recent capture of a bobcat on Staten Island. A bobcat. Staten Island. Who's laughing now, fools?