What are the chances?
Scott Madaus, a reporter for Fox 13 in Memphis, Tennessee, was preparing to go live from the scene of an alleged sighting of a large wildcat. Madaus called his producer and told them he was ready to tease his segment before a commercial break.
According to Buzzfeed, the producer obliged, and what followed has gone viral.
Over the words "LARGE CAT SPOTTED” on the screen, Madeus began: "I'm Scott Madaus, live in Hernando, Mississippi, where there have been spottings of a cougar," he said, turning dramatically to point toward a clearing -- where, sitting pretty and thoroughly at ease, was a small, gray domestic shorthair.
“And that’s not it,” Madaus said as the cameraman zoomed in. “That looks like a house cat.”
Later, Madaus said he planned the whole thing after noticing the kitty while waiting to go on the air. He told Buzzfeed he couldn't resist having some fun with the alleged wildcat sighting, which was reported by a man waiting in the drive-through at a nearby fast-food restaurant.
"It had come out from this brush from underneath a tree and it was just standing there, staring at me," Madaus said, "and I thought how ironic is this that we're doing a story about a 100-pound-plus possible cougar and here's this small, little house cat.
"If you look at the video, it's just methodically staring at me. He almost turns his head back towards where the cougar was identified, like, 'What did you say?'"
Madaus posted the clip on Twitter and Facebook page, where it quickly spread. Questlove and Katie Coric are among those who have since shared a GIF of the encounter on Twitter.
Of his viral fame, Madaus told Buzzfeed, "You have a very serious job being journalist, but at the same time when things like this happen you can't take yourself too seriously."