Lost Pennsylvania Cat Mistaken For Bobcat, Prompting School Closure

It’s one thing after another for students at West Scranton High School in Pennsylvania, who finally got back to school after months of remote learning, only to find classes canceled again following reports of a bobcat roaming the halls.

According to WNEP-TV, classes were canceled after what appeared to be a wild cat was captured on school survellience cameras.

Photo: Twitter/Stacy Lange

Bobcats are common in Pennsylvania, although these animals are usually more active at night. But after a year like 2020, school officials weren’t about to take any chances.

“I don’t think anyone would have predicted this, of course, but again, our staff and students did a wonderful job not reacting, just quietly got out of the building and we will let the professionals, animal control, do their job,” Scranton School District Superintendent Melissa McTiernan told the station.

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But it wasn’t until the cat was safely cornered 2 hours later that animal control officers realized they’d made a mistake. The “bobcat” who caused such was a fuss actually a Pennsylvania house cat named Kakashi, a lost pet who’d been missing for 3 months.

Photo: Facebook/Griffin Pond Animal Shelter

In officers’ defense, Kakashi is a rare exotic breed known as a Clouded Jack, whose pointy ears, bobbed tails, and spotted coats do slightly resemble bobcats.

“It looks, I mean, identical. [It has] the colors of a bobcat; it’s missing a tail,” one of the officers involved in the chase, Game Warden Jon Bowman, told WNEP-TV. “So just err on the side of caution. We wanted to make sure all the students are safe, and staff are safe.”

So the bobcat all over the news that caused West Scranton schools to close today is here at my shelter. Brought in by…

Posted by P.J. Regan on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Regardless, this strange case of mistaken identity helped reunite the missing cat with his family. When officers brought Kakashi to a local shelter, shelter workers discovered the wayward feline was wearing a microchip.

“Had us for a little bit of a run around town, trying to follow up leads and stuff, and then behold, he’s at West [Scranton High School!],” the cat’s owner, Sheanine Johnson, told the station. “So, sorry, guys.”

Find out more in the video below!

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