Cat or mouse? Hairless mystery animal baffles homeowner!

Cape Breton Island, Canada - Canadian Jamie Forgeron was flabbergasted when she saw a hairless creature scurrying through her garden to eat cat food. She called wildlife rescuers for help, fearing the strange animal was sick.

This strange hairless critter confused a Canadian homeowner. Is it a cat, a mouse, or something else?
This strange hairless critter confused a Canadian homeowner. Is it a cat, a mouse, or something else?  © Collage: Screenshots/Facebook/Hope For Wildlife

Forgeron, who lives with her husband in Cape Breton, didn't know what to think when she saw a strange creature that looked like a cross between a cat and a mouse running through her garden.

Unsure about what to do, Forgeron called Hope For Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation center, for help.

Rescuers asked her to trap the unusual animal, so Forgeron used cat food as bait to catch the hairless critter with black ears, muzzle, and toes.

Family looking to adopt a new cat is shocked to see a familiar face after years of separation
Cats Family looking to adopt a new cat is shocked to see a familiar face after years of separation

Forgeron told CBC that the mysterious animal didn't mind being caught. "It was as calm as anything. It was almost like it knew it was going to get help," she said.

Once the wildlife experts arrived at the scene, they identified the strange creature. It wasn't a cat, and it wasn't a mouse.

The mystery critter was actually hairless raccoon with a taste for cat food!

Strange animal was actually a hairless racoon

A few days ago, the female animal hid among her fellow raccoons – unfortunately, her fur has still not returned.
A few days ago, the female animal hid among her fellow raccoons – unfortunately, her fur has still not returned.  © Screenshot/Facebook/Hope For Wildlife

The founder of Hope For Wildlife, Hope Swinimer, named the naked raccoon Rufus.

Initially, rescuers hoped that she just needed some help regrowing her coat.

"Under good supervision and good diet, [she] may grow back some of [her] fur, and [she] may be releasable," Swinimer said back in March.

Groom gets furry surprise at first look before wedding
Dogs Groom gets furry surprise at first look before wedding

Unfortunately, according to the organization's Facebook update, they've ruled out all the usual causes of alopecia.

Sadly, Rufus, the raccoon, may lack hair because of a genetic condition. This means she may not be able to be released.

"Her future is still a bit up in the air, but we are still investigating our options," Hope for Wildlife explained.

Even if Rufus doesn't grow any hair, she's in good hands with the wildlife organization. She's even got fuzzy raccoon buddies to cuddle with!

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshots/Facebook/Hope For Wildlife

More on Animals: