During my morning run with the pup, I am 98.2% sure I spied an American Mink.
The animal in question had dark fur, was somewhere between 1.5 and 2.0 feet in length and the riverside park seems like a perfect habitat.
At first glance, I thought it was gazing upon the ass of a cat. There are tons of feral cats roaming around these parts.
However, when it moved, the locomotion was wrong. At least from the perspective of a person expecting to see a cat running. It had that weird little hop (see the 0:39 mark in the video below) that this kind of beast has (weasels, otters, wolverines and their ilk). I just glimpsed it in full before it ducked into the underbrush. That weren’t no cat, folks! The animal definitely had the humped up backside and long neck of the mink.
My mind blurted out marten, but looking at pictures it looks the wrong color. Besides, I don’t know anything about martens and am unsure why I would even think it would be one.
It doesn’t really matter what it was. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
The real purpose of the post is to take a look at what happened in the immediate aftermath of first contact.
Me and the pup run every morning, mostly on park trails. I always have a camera with me. I take pictures of everything, but am often on the hunt for the resident coyote (more likely to be found at dusk) and various other beings (birds, bums, everyday weirdos, coons, possums, etc).
Generally speaking, you would expect me to be prepared.
Nevertheless, my first reaction wasn’t to focus and snap a shot. My first reaction was “what in the hell?….” Followed by certainty that I was looking at something unusual and the need to get a closer look. Didn’t even manage a blobmink photo.
In fact, I barely even considered taking one in my desire to confirm the sighting with my eyes. Alas, the moment was too brief and passed away as quickly as it arose. After the initial shock I was left sort of dazed (yes, I probably get too excited over these things, but the juxtaposition of animals amid the backdrop of the city intrigues me).
Not 40 minutes later, I had doubts as to my own capabilities as a witness. The dog wasn’t keen to discuss it and seemed to proceed with life as if the event never even happened.
I still stand firm as to the accuracy of my account and the identification. Still, I would not be surprised if someone call shenanigans. At least someone else had a recent sighting I can point to.
The experience is a tiny look at what happens to people, even those seemingly ready, when the unusual smacks them in the face.
Take a gander at this short vid of a mink in action for reference:
And a clip of Scout from earlier this summer having her own WTF moment: