There was almost a purring sound coming from the creature. It stalked her son as he walked across the yard in the midday sun.
Initially, she thought little of it. When she closely examined it, however, she became frightened. As she sprinted across the porch, she grabbed her son, ran back, and swiftly locked her door behind her.
Katy McCarthy was a young mother residing in Lincoln, Massachusetts. She lived there with her beautiful husband Cody and her young son Drue.
Katy was a well-known zoologist in her town. Cody had gotten a raise at work, and her kid had begun middle school. Everything in her life was wonderful. Katy, on the other hand, had no idea that this was about to change.
Katy struggled to emotionally connect with her son Drue. Spending time with him was quite difficult for her.
She did everything she could to cement their connection but nothing quite worked. Katy tried to take him to the movies, they went to the fair and she spent hours playing with him after school. As Katy’s options ran out, she was desperate.
It was the day after New Year and Katy was busy watching her son ride his bike up and down the street.
Katy made sure that Drue was being safe and she was very attentive. Drue seemed to have distanced himself even more from her but she could see he enjoyed living in Lincoln. Her son anxiously screamed out for her the moment she went into the house to catch up on some work.
Katy instantly dropped what she was doing to go and see why Drue was screaming. She saw that he was out of breath, his eyes beaming with excitement.
“Do we have salami, mom?” he asked his mother excitedly. Katy was curious as to why her son wanted food, as they had lunch not even an hour ago. “It’s for my new friend,” Drue yelled, as if he could read her mind.
“Ouch, he scratched me!” Katy bolted outdoors when Drue cried.
Katy inspected Drue trying to establish what scratched him. There was no one else in the area that she could see. She saw the pink marks on Drue’s hand and she felt overcome with worry. But to her surprise Drue was not crying, and she noticed something else…
Drue shook a few bushes while he sat across the road, a grin cracking across his face. “He loved it, mom!” Katy was so confused as to what or who Drue was referring to.
Katie’s eyes darted around the room, ultimately landing in the middle of the street. She could see something moving within the bushes. She stepped closer, wanting to see what was causing the movement. Drue grabbed her by the and and said, “You will spook him.” Drue looked at her with big pleading eyes, but Katy had to get to the bottom of this.
Drue told his mother that he found a cat while riding around on his bike and that his new friend followed him to the house.
Katy was happy that her son made a new friend. She knew she had to help him. “Salami is not good for cats,” she calmy said to Drue, jumping at the opportunity to bond. “I’ll fetch some milk,” she offered. The young mother, however, did not realize that Drue’s friend was not a cat.
Katy returned with a bowl and a milk bottle. She was so excited to connect with Drue about animals. She couldn’t help but smile.
The moment she stepped outside she was frozen in her tracks. Her son was heading in her direction. A creature stalked behind him, its head lowered. Katy tried to hold in a scream.
Katy ran across the threshold with her son in her arms. She dashed back inside the house, locking the porch door behind her.
She called out to her husband. She needed help now but he was not responding. Her son’s hand was scratched and Katy examined the marks. Her mistake was to think they were safe in the house.
Two windows beside the porch door were still open. Katy rushed to them, shutting one, but the animal jumped through the other.
“That is not a cat, Drue,” she almost cried out when her son began calling the creature. She rushed to him, scooping him up and running upstairs. She rechecked his palm, looking for any signs of infection. What kind of animal was this?
Katy’s phone rang downstairs. It had to be her husband calling her. Her mind raced with escape routes. She had to get down there – and fast.
Working as a zoologist, she knew the different kinds of felines that wandered the state of Massachusetts. What was creeping inside her house was beyond her wildest imagination. She and Drue were in immediate danger.
Katy hurried to her bedroom’s computer and video called her husband. “An African serval is running around our kitchen, Cody,” she cried onto the screen. “Drue is hurt, and my phone is downstairs. I can’t call animal control.” She dashed to the bathroom and fetched a first aid kit.
“We are safe here,” she told her son, knowing how dangerous servals could be. The creature growled outside the door, and Katy jerked up. Drue jumped onto her and held tight. Would the animal tear down their room’s door?
“I am right around the corner. Community Outreach is as well,” Cody’s voice came across the computer. The serval began scratching the door then gave a final growl before quieting down. Sirens rang outside.
“I am sorry, mom,” Drue said, but Katy reassured him that none of this was his fault. Footsteps sounded downstairs, and Kety let out a deep breath. The cavalry was here to help them.
The MSPCA-Angell’s Community Outreach team captured the serval, restoring order to the McCarthy house. Even though the experience was scary for the McCarthy family, it brought Katy closer to her son as Drue took an interest in wild cats.
The MSPCA-Angell discovered that the serval, named Bruno, had been injured for a while. The Outreach team organized a surgery for Bruno, after which he would be welcomed as the newest member of the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota.