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Atlanta woman wakes up to find serval cat in bed after husband leaves door open

Wildlife officials have not found the cat but say it was likely in the Atlanta area because someone is illegally keeping it as a house pet.

A suburban Atlanta woman woke to a surprise on Wednesday when she found a serval cat in her bed, according to local NBC affiliate WXIA.

Kristine Frank's husband got up early that morning to let their dog out, but she stayed in bed and continued to rest, according to WXIA.

The exotic cat that woke up Kristine Frank in Brookhaven, Ga.Courtesy Kristine Frank

But then Frank felt movement on the bed, which couldn't have been her husband or dog, since she doesn't allow the dog to sleep in the bed. Startled, she woke up and found an unfamiliar, large cat laying in the bed, Frank told the outlet.

She described the cat as being more than 2 feet long with pointy ears and spots but said she's seen nothing like it before in her eight years of living in the area. The animal has since been identified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a serval, which is usually a wild cat native to Africa.

“I look at the cat and I know immediately that is not a normal house cat. It did not look like a pet. It looked like a wild animal,” she told the local news station.

Frank said the cat jumped out of the bed almost immediately, but it retreated to a different part of the room as she called out to her husband, "Dave, that is not a cat!"

When her husband entered to find his wife scared and panicking, he locked eyes with the cat, which was cornered across the room, as Frank tip-toed out the other way to escape. Moments later, her husband was finally able to get the wild cat out of the house, according to WXIA.

Frank is thankful that no one was hurt, but she said she can't help but wonder what would've happened under different circumstances.

"I just think if my dog would have been in the house, what would have happened to my dog?" she said. "If I had small children, what would have happened to them?"

The Animal Legal Defense Fund told WXIA that the animal likely got to the Atlanta area because someone could be illegally keeping it as a house pet.