Earlier this week, a man waiting at a drive-thru in Hernando, Mississippi (which is right outside Memphis), filmed what appeared to be a cougar on the prowl.
"I was out picking up some food at Wendy's in Hernando and this cat walked out of the woods," David Sluder wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. "It is a little hard to see but I can assure you this is not a house cat. It looks to be the same size as a medium to large dog."
Intrepid local TV reporter Scott Madaus was sent to get to the bottom of the story for Fox 13.
As the afternoon broadcast went live, here's the absolutely incredible "tease" of the cougar story that viewers saw before a commercial break.
So, yes, it's safe to say that's not the cougar.
The incredible moment soon went viral on Twitter, with people, including Madaus's own colleagues, absolutely losing it.
The moment wasn't as unplanned as it seems, however. Madaus told BuzzFeed News he was standing in the field where the cougar was spotted, preparing to go live, when he spotted the kitty.
"It had come out from this brush from underneath a tree and it was just standing there, staring at me, 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," he said.
Madaus quickly telephoned his producer and told them to cut live to him before the commercial break so he could "tease" his story to viewers with footage of the cat.
"If you look at the video, it's just methodically staring at me," he said of the cat. "He almost turns his head back towards where the cougar was identified, like, 'What did you say?'"
Still, Madaus's delivery of the "That's not it... that looks like a house cat" line had people in stitches.
The camera operator also had many fans for holding a steady shot of the nonplussed cat.
The image of the kitty paired with a chyron reading "LARGE CAT SPOTTED" was also perfection.
Even celebs got in on the love, including Questlove...
And journalist Katie Couric, who must surely know how unpredictable live TV can be.
For many people, though, the clip prompted an outpouring of love for local news, where reporters tend to have a bit more fun with small stories.
Madaus said he was informed of his newfound viral fame when he was at work on Friday afternoon.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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