Wednesday, April 4, 2018

House Cougar

It happened last Friday. The moment I lost all remaining faith in our general public and our education system. If you want to document the date and time for historical purposes, it occurred on Friday, March 23, 2018 at approximately 12:15 P.M.

That’s when the call came into the Rocklin Police Department’s main board. “There’s a mountain lion roaming around near Rocklin High School.”

“Holy crap,” said school officials, probably. “We can’t have a cougar on campus. That could be dangerous. We have no idea where it might go. I mean, we know it will steer clear of the cafeteria, because, seriously, have you tried the food? But it may eat one of the students. They’re sitting ducks. They never look up from their phones.”

The school went on temporary lockdown, enacting the standard wild animal intrusion protocol. First, all the students were moved to the gymnasium, the teachers and staff forming a human corridor to guide them so they wouldn’t bump into walls and doorjambs while concentrating on their phones. Once the kids were secured inside, the teachers and staff went to work emptying the cafeteria kitchen, stacking the school lunches to form protective wildlife-repellant barriers around all the entrances.

With everyone safely behind the impenetrable walls of rubbery chicken strips and rock-hard gluten-free corn muffins, the administrators monitored the situation as Rocklin PD and animal control arrived on the scene.

After a thorough search of the campus came up empty, including inside the cafeteria, just to be safe, the police cleared the lockdown. While all the officers on scene said they were not particularly frightened about the possibility of running across a mountain lion, many of them reported negative phycological effects from their search of the cafeteria, apparently having flashbacks to their own high school histories with the Friday chef’s surprise.

As the students got back to class and the cafeteria officers sought counseling back at the station, animal control officers stayed behind to review the surveillance footage of the campus and the surrounding area.

The video search results were made known to the media, and later in the day the following was released by a local news outlet:

Officers and animal control couldn’t find any trace of a lion.

Video later revealed that the animal was just a large house cat.

Police say they encourage residents to continue to report sightings so that officers can properly determine any potential risk to the community.

A large house cat.

I am not making that up.

Someone in Rocklin, CA, which is located in America, saw a house cat and thought it was a mountain lion. The caller had to be an adult, because if it was one of the high school students there would have been thirty-seven selfies with the cat in the background prior to reporting the sighting, and the lockdown would have been avoided. Plus, most high school students are unaware that their phones have a phone feature. They would have tweeted the selfie to the Rocklin PD’s Twitter page. “omg r u kidding? cutest mountain lion photobomb!”

So an American adult saw a house cat and decided it was a cougar.

I really wish I was making that up.

“Police say they encourage residents to continue to report sightings…” Yes, I guess that’s what the police have to say to the public. I guarantee what police say in the privacy of their own patrol cars is, “A %*^$# house cat!? What the $%##& has happened to #@%&% common sense?”

I am hereby proposing a new rule that should make the police happier: Anyone who looks at a house cat (large, extra-large, or even jumbo), and calls the police thinking it’s a mountain lion gets tazed.

Or they have to eat lunch at the school cafeteria. Either way.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2018 Marc Schmatjen

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