Just earlier than the bobcat attacked, the quiet subdivision the place Happy and Kristi Wade dwell in Burgaw, N.C., was the very image of suburban tranquillity.
Mr. Wade was carrying a pan of brownies, and Ms. Wade was carrying their cat, Caroline Faith, in a service. It was a Friday morning, and they had been on their strategy to a veterinarian in Wilmington, about 25 miles away, for a routine appointment.
“Good morning,” Mr. Wade stated cheerfully to a passing jogger earlier than remarking, “I need to wash my car.”
That’s when Ms. Wade stated she heard an offended growl. She thought it was simply a neighborhood cat. But it was a rabid bobcat crawling out from beneath a automotive within the driveway.
“I won’t soon forget the look in that cat’s eyes,” she stated in an interview. “It had its sights set on me, and that’s when I ran.”
“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” she screamed, because the bobcat sank its enamel into her left hand and then crawled up her again, and onto her shoulder.
The assault was captured by the Wades’ home-security digicam in a video that ricocheted across the internet after Mr. Wade shared it with his boss, who shared it with someone else, whose nephew put it on TikTok, Ms. Wade said.
The 46-second clip has put a spotlight on Mr. Wade’s split-second reaction to his wife’s screams.
Mr. Wade ran to his wife, pulled the bobcat off her back and held the animal aloft with his bare hands, as it writhed and growled.
“Oh, my God, it’s a bobcat!” he screamed.
Then he hurled the animal across the lawn.
“Get out! Get out! Get out!” Mr. Wade, who has a concealed-carry permit, shouted before pulling out a pistol. But the bobcat darted back under the car. Using an expletive, Mr. Wade shouted that he would “shoot” the animal and warned the jogger to stay away.
“Watch out!” he said. “It’s a bobcat that attacked my wife.”
It was not entirely clear what happened after the clip ends, but Ms. Wade said the bobcat was shot by her husband and a sheriff’s deputy who arrived after responding to a 911 call.
The Pender County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a bobcat was killed on April 9 in the Creekside subdivision in Burgaw. Testing at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health confirmed that the animal was rabid, the sheriff’s office said.
Ms. Wade said her husband was not happy to have shot the bobcat. The couple has two cats and a dog and serve on the board of a local humane society, Ms. Wade said.
“We’re animal lovers and it was very difficult for my husband to do that,” she said. “It had charged back out. He knew he had no other choice.”
Later, Ms. Wade said that she and Mr. Wade learned that the bobcat had attacked another neighbor about 10 minutes earlier.
Ms. Wade said she and Mr. Wade went to the emergency room after the attack. She had bite marks on her hand, scratches on her arm, claw marks on her back and other wounds, she said. Her husband had bite marks on his hand and deep scratches. Both were given antibiotics and the rabies vaccine, she said.
Ted Stankowich, a behavioral ecologist who specializes in mammals at California State University, Long Beach, said he was “really shocked” by the video.
Bobcats, which live in most parts of the United States, typically avoid humans and prey on rodents, rabbits and reptiles, he said.
“Any rabid animal is going to be far more aggressive around humans,” Dr. Stankowich said. “But a normal bobcat would typically not come into a neighborhood like that, into suburbia, let alone attack a person like that.”
Ms. Wade said her injuries could have been far worse if her husband had not intervened.
“He saved my life,” she said. “If he had not been there, I do not know where I’d be, or in what shape I’d have been in. I do not know how I would have fended it off myself.”
Ms. Wade added that she was “not the least bit surprised” that Mr. Wade had put himself in harm’s way that morning.
“That’s just the kind of person he is,” she said. “We’ve been married for 30 years. I met him when I was 15, and there was never a doubt in my life how much he loves me and how much he would do for me.”