Oskaloosa Business Greeted By Wild Bobcat

OSKALOOSA, Iowa -- It is a wild tale that won't be forgotten any time soon, recalls Jim Harvey.  "All I could see was its head and its eyes."

For around 30 years Jim Harvey has had a routine to start his morning off right at Oskaloosa's Mauer Supply Inc.  "When I went to get my coffee he was under my desk and that was my good morning."

On September 26th around 8:30 a.m. a wild bobcat found its way past the service manager's garage door and into the service center.  "To my blind side I saw a dog walk in which wasn't a dog and saw him run into the shop.  I thought well I'll go say hi to him," said Jim.

He quickly learned that it was not a dog and said, "When I knew it was a bobcat, it was under my workbench."

Multiple agencies, including the Mahaska County Sheriff's Office came to the rescue with caution.  "We've been telling people for several years, don't approach bobcats, they are not kittens, not your average feline, not a pet at all. They are very dangerous when cornered," said Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem.

For two hours,  Jim's office was this bobcat's home.  Laughing he said, "There's some oil pans there he just laid his head down and stretched his legs out."

It eventually found its escape route, leaving no chance for authorities to frisk this feline.  Sheriff Van Renterghem said, "Our intent wasn't to catch the animal our intent was just to encourage it to leave."

It's all given the community a good laugh.

"We don't have this type of call very often so I gave my body camera to Mauer employees and I asked them to videotape it," said the sheriff.

It has also given cause for Jim to jokingly make a small change in his morning routine.  "You look twice, you open the door and look twice."