Today, Sept 3, 2011, I was heading out to run some errands. We live on the boarder of Salem and Colchester, CT. I was headed toward route 354, a main road that connects the 2 towns, when I saw what I thought was a deer crossing the road. I slowed down and thats when my brain registered that this animal was definitely NOT a deer; the coloring was similar, but everything else was feline in nature: the body was long, muscular and lean, and only 2 to 3 feet off the ground; the rear legs were not straight like a deer’s: one angle was formed where the foot met the leg, and a second angle was formed about a third of the way up the leg; the tail was VERY LONG and curved with a rounded tip, and was not bushy like a fisher-cat’s would be (not to mention this animal was the wrong color and size for a fisher cat); the gait of this animal was long and smooth, but this animal was not in a hurry, nor was it simply strolling along; the fur also seemed smooth in color and texture, there was no fading from one color to the next, like a coyote, nor did the fur seem wiry and rough, but it looked smooth and soft, almost pet-able…..ALMOST…. It crossed the road from a field on my right, to a field on my left, and moved on from there. I backed up so I could find a spot where I could see over the stone wall into the field on my left, but the grass was too tall to see anything, and I’m sure the animal had found it’s way to the woods behind the field by then anyways. I KNOW without a doubt that this was NOT a bobcat, a coyote, or a dog….and DEEP needs to acknowledge that these gorgeous felines are in our area, and they need to educate the public about how to handle the rare, but possible encounters. At the very least, they should be logging all of the sightings, instead of telling folks who call in that the eastern mountain lions are extinct and those of us who have seen them have seen something else and are mistaken……I’ll never forget the feeling of “what the $#%@ was that!?” that filled me when my slow brain, used to seeing deer, realized that there was absolutely NO WAY this could have been a deer, or any other common CT wildlife….