Have you ever had someone pull a practical joke on you that was so realistic you fell for it no questions asked? Well, it seems that someone who lives near Richmond, Virginia did just that. The anonymous person posted a Craigslist ad (which has since been removed) searching for the owners of a found cat.
But that “cat” turned out to be a bobcat
And while this is funny, it’s actually a hoax, EyewitnessNews3 reports. The photos are from the Instagram account @a_bobcats_tale, which has more than 25,000 followers. The account is actually the story of Monaco and Gypsy, two adorable bobcats who were adopted by kind-hearted owners Mick and Melissa McAllister, of Texas, WFAA8 notes.
This bobcat story has a twist
Gypsy and Monaco unfortunately never had a chance to experience the wild and it was difficult for the McAllisters to get the cats to trust them. They had been declawed as kittens and bottle-fed their entire lives. When their original owners no longer wanted them, Mick and Melissa stepped up.
Bobcats are beautiful
They are, however, also extremely active. Much more so than our domestic kitties. The McAllisters say they spend about four hours playing with them every day. It’s necessary because in the wild bobcats are very active.
It’s obviously tempting for people to want to own these gorgeous cats. That’s a really bad idea, though, if a person isn’t willing to devote several hours to them daily. If a bobcat doesn’t get enough playtime it can get bored easily and turn destructive.
Gypsy and Monaco are so cute and absolutely gorgeous that it’s understandable that someone might want to adopt a bobcat, but these beauties are really meant to stay wild.
“Most of the cats that come to us come to us because people have gotten in over their heads,” says Valeri Marler of the National Bobcat Rescue and Research Foundation, in Texas.
There have been far too many cases where the cats have become too imprinted on their owners — meaning that releasing them into the wild could have tragic results. In situations like this, a bobcat may not know how to fend for itself, and it may be too trusting towards humans. Marler noted this why the McAllisters are the Foundation’s first private adoption.
And while it’s been more than a year since the McAllister’s adopted their feline friends, the story once again took on a life of its own when the prankster in question decided to “borrow” some of the images from the Instagram, Gizmodo reports. Including the two videos below.
Now for the fun part
Both of these videos were released in 2017. The hoax, however, began going viral on social media last May. And frankly, as far as hoaxes go, this one is pretty epic.
“FOUND cat last night was stuck in between my fence screaming its head off! I brought it inside because it looks too big and healthy for a stray and dogs here escape often and will eat cats that get out,” the prankster wrote.
“He is very vocal (and mean!!!!) I think he is a tabby and bengals mix maybe some Maine coon because he is so big and chubby,” the seemingly sincere hoaxer continues.
Then the post takes an ominous turn, and if you didn’t already know this was malarkey you’d be worried for the safety of the person.
“Almost lost my fingers this morning trying to pet him,” the person writes. “Has been growling and hissing and calling all morning He is such a big grouch.”
Well haha, hoax weaver, you almost had me there. Until I Googled the story.
Here’s the real story of Gypsy and Monaco below.
Featured image by a_bobcats_tale via Instagram