OBAMA/A furry little creature has been showing up at White House Rose Garden events recently about as often as a particularly persistent reporter. But this week it went too far, by running across the base of Barack Obama’s podium while the U.S. president was speaking about  financial regulatory reform on Thursday.

The moment was captured on video, but no one seems to know what the creature was, although there were plenty of theories.

Reggie Love, Obama’s special assistant and personal aide, opined that the animal was a field mouse, said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. But he insisted that Love had it wrong.

“Judging the size of the animal, based on the diameter of the seal (on the front of Obama’s podium), I got to tell you, that’s a rat. Where I’m from that’s a rat and it should be treated as such,” he told reporters at the end of an hour-long daily briefing.

Gibbs said Obama had not noticed the animal during its appearance on Thursday, but that he had told the president about it on Friday. As is typical with White House strategy, he would not discuss what was being done about it, if anything at all.