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What Kind of Animal?

The cellular 911 line rings.... these are always interesting calls, because you don't know the location of the caller at all and must rely on the caller to know where they are and be able to describe it.

I could tell that this one was going to be difficult the moment I picked it up and heard the loud static, fading in and out, and a distant voice saying something that I couldn't understand at all. The signal was still there, though, so I kept trying, saying "Hello? HELLO? HELLO???!" Then the signal started mixing with another cellular phone and I heard someone carrying on a lively conversation in Spanish. I was sure I had lost the caller and was about to give up when suddenly the original far away voice came back loud enough for me to understand. A male was saying "...just let me turn the page, here..."

I asked if he could hear me and he said yes, so I asked him to tell me quickly where he was and what he was reporting before I lost the signal again. He replied "Let me turn the page." I asked him again "WHAT ARE YOU REPORTING?" And he said "Oh, I am not really....static...turn the page... *more spanish conversation*... I can... HELLO???" I kept trying to get him to get to the point, and for 5 minutes I asked him "WHAT ARE YOU REPORTING?"

FINALLY, he managed to say "I am reporting animals on my roof." I asked him where he was and he went back to telling me he was turning the page, so I asked him what kind of animals were on his roof. He said "You know, the local animals!" I asked him if he could describe the animals, to which he replied "Um, the fuzzy kind." So we went on, playing 20 questions... "Is it a squirrel?" No, it is bigger than that. "Is it a bear?" No, it is smaller than a bear. "How about a dog?" No, of course it isn't a dog! "Could it be a skunk?" Well, yes, it just might be a skunk, he said. After several tries, the caller finally remembered his address and phone number, and I was able to pass the information on to the correct agency for his area.

I never did hear the end of that one, but I imagine it was interesting for the officer responding!

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