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McCuaig family cat Dottie survives cougar encounter in Uphill

The McCuaig family cat, Dottie, rests comfortably on the couch following a scary encounter Sunday night with a cougar in Nelson. — Submitted

According to the common myth a cat is able to endure, continue, or survive despite a near encounter with death or disaster because cats have Nine lives.

The McCuaig family cat Dottie, definitely has a few more left after a Sunday evening encounter with a cougar in Nelson.

The incident unfolded at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday (October 5, 2020) when John McCuaig said he heard a big crash at the front door of his residence on Mill Street in Uphill.

“I ran to the door to see a cougar with my cat in its mouth,” McCuaig explained.

“I yelled at the thing and chased it off . . . called the police and grabbed a crowbar and a flashlight.”

McCuaig was hoping for the best for Dottie, despite what he just witnessed.

However, his main concern was the fact the cougar has no problem hunting for food right outside the front door of the Uphill residence.

“My worry is that this cougar does not have any fear as it was on my doorstep looking for a meal,” said McCuaig, adding he lives a few blocks away from South Nelson Elementary School.

McCuaig, with crowbar and flashlight in hand, said he looked for Dottie for the next 30 minutes in the dark of night with no success.

"Having no luck, I headed back and had the awful task of explaining to the kids (Elle and Jack) that our cat was not coming home,” McCuaig said.

“As you can imagine there were many tears and an unsettling feeling.”

Still hoping for a favourable outcome, McCuaig decided to take one more look for Dottie around the neighbourhood.

“I had to shake off (telling the kids) so I headed back outside and went to do another round,” he said.

“As I came back in our yard, I see to eyes staring at me between my neighbour’s house and my house . . . there was Dottie.”

McCuaig said Dottie was scared and needed coaxing, but alive and well, with no marks or scratches on her body that he could see.

“I can't believe she is ok,” said McCuaig, who is taking Dottie to the vet today for a checkup as a precaution.

McCuaig urged people in Uphill to watch their pets as there is a cougar making rounds in Uphill.