|Will s/he make it through the night?|
There was the usual back and forth over where to rendezvous; then I grabbed a bobcat-sized carrier (medium) and my welder's gloves, and we were off.
Pretty soon we're at the rendezvous point, and here comes this shiny black Colorado Parks & Wildlife truck. And in the back in another carrier is a very displeased bobcat who did not want to move from its carrier into mine, so I had to reach in and grab him.
Touch not the cat bot a glove, as the Scots said. There is some truth to that. It was kind of a "Here, hold my beer" moment, only I had no beer.
I stuffed the unhappy cat into my carrier, and we set off. At the center, we put the carrier in one of the enclosures. The bobcat will get food and water, and in the morning — if it's still alive — its caretakers will decide what to do next.
The backstory was kind of sketchy — someone in the Colorado Springs area had found it apparently dead (hit by a car?) and put it in a pillowcase in order to deposit it in a trash can (!!), when it came to life. Or something like that. Internal injuries?
As we drove to meet the game warden, I was thinking how I am someone who lives in his head a lot, usually having internal dialogs about how this project is behind and how I need to get going on that article and when am I going to fix XYZ around the house and on and on.
And then, whether it is the volunteer fire department or the wildlife transport gig, the radio squawks or the telephone rings and . . . that's it. Get the appropriate gear and go.
The change is almost relaxing. It's like an altered state. There is only The Mission, and everything else is shoved into the background. I think we humans like that state of being.
A fire call came in last winter for a structure fire at the far edge of our service area, about a 45-minute drive from the firehouse.
One engine had taken off ahead of me, and I was driving a second one, alone— a violation of the procedure that normally required a minimum of two firefighters per engine, except that another guy was coming in his own vehicle to meet me on-scene.
It was just before dawn, and I was going up this lonely winding canyon road with the red and blue lights bouncing off the rocks and cliffs beside the road, like my own private rave.
Dream-like. . . . I could have gone on and on and on.
UPDATE, JULY 25, 2018: The bobcat was released today in the foothills near the rehabiliation center. The rehabbers said that it took off like a rocket when they opened the door of its carrier.