Coming home from the grocery store, Angela Ridner saw a small animal dart in front of her Dodge Charger and felt a slight bump as the two collided. Thinking it was roadkill, Ridner waited until she pulled into the driveway of her Manchester, Tennessee house before she inspected the front bumper.
“I was upset,” Ridner told The Tullahoma News. “I came home and whispered to my husband ‘I hit a cat,’ because I didn’t want the boys to hear.”
The mother of three said that she initially thought she had hit a domestic cat. When she and her husband Kevin went to check for damage, however, they found that the Dodge had picked up a passenger instead. Wedged just under the car’s grille was an adult bobcat. Despite being cramped, the animal was still very much alive.
“It was just looking at us,” Angela Ridner told News Channel 5. “I thought, oh my goodness, this thing is big!”
Large enough that Ridner hesitated over whether or not she should release the animal. In the end, the couple decided to see if the cat could find its own way out of the bumper. When Ridner went back to check on the bobcat an hour later, she found that the animal had turned itself around and was slowly pushing its way out of the fascia. By the second time she checked, it was already gone.
Now the only reminders that the cat had ever been there are tufts of fur and some scratches.
“We assume it is okay and made its way back to the woods,” Ridner said.
Last year a similar case happened involving a Florida owl, which hitched a ride for 100 miles after being struck by a SUV.