Saanich cat tangles with pit bull

'Protective' feline takes on inquisitive dog on cat's front lawn

Saanich cat tangles with pit bull

The owners of an elderly cat named Baby say their pet’s sudden reputation as a fearless mauler of pit bull dogs is completely undeserved.

Betty Jean Thompson, 78, and her husband, Del, said they are mystified by the public interest in an incident that happened Monday evening on the front lawn of their home in Saanich.

Thompson said she was tending her garden when a group of women walking seven large dogs approached on the sidewalk and one of the dogs showed a friendly interest in her.

Beside her lay Baby, the stray, cream-coloured cat that adopted the Thompsons almost 16 years ago.

“She’s kind of a slow sort of thinking cat, but one thing is she is very protective of me.”

Thompson said the dog crossed the lawn. She said she warned the woman walking three of the animals that a cat was nearby, and the walker immediately tried to tug her pet back toward the sidewalk.

Dog owner’s says it happened otherwise

But the dog’s owner, Javiera Rodriguez, offered a different version of events. She said she and three other women involved in a canine walking group were strolling by Thompson’s property with seven dogs when a cat leapt unprovoked from the bushes and latched onto the face of a three-year-old pit bull, Bandida.

Thompson agreed that her cat “set on” one of the pit bulls that was on the property, but she says the cat did not leap out of bushes to attack the dog.

“There is no ambush about it,” she said. “Somebody is blowing this all up.”

By the time the two animals were separated, the dog and one of the walkers had been hurt, and Thompson said Baby was hanging limp but uninjured from the jaws of the surprised pooch.

Rodriguez said she was surprised when she called the municipality and discovered Saanich doesn’t have a bylaw on aggressive cats, which she said is unfair because of restrictions placed on dogs.

“Our dogs, if they’re aggressive, need to be muzzled and on leash at all times. I don’t understand why that isn’t happening with cats,” she said in calling for the municipality to change its animal-control bylaw.

“If you have an aggressive animal, regardless of what it is, it should be kept inside. There should be some regulation.”

Besides wounding Bandida, the cat also sent Kyla Grover, one of the dog walkers, to hospital with scratch and bite injuries on her left hand. She received vaccinations and antibiotics.

Grover lamented what she called a double-standard that people place on pit bulls.

“A lot of people think that pit bulls are bred to fight and kill and they’re not. They’re really sweet-natured and gentle dogs,” she said.

“If Bandida had hurt that cat she would probably be deemed dangerous and euthanized, even though the cat started it.”

‘The cat was just trying to protect me’

Thompson said the cat was simply acting defensively after seeing a dog wander in her owner’s direction.

“The cat was just trying to protect me and felt it was in her rights,” she said.

The Thompsons paid about $220 in veterinary bills that Rodriguez brought to their home the next day.

By Beth Leighton and Geordon Omand in Vancouver

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergreen Centre following drug deal

An eastern cottontail rabbit on the UVic campus. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Wild rabbits persist at the University of Victoria

Feral rabbits are still absent, but another non-native species has arrived on campus

Staff will be reviewing public feedback from second-stage designs for cycling infrastructure in James Bay, part of the City of Victoria’s 32-kilometre network. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria sends James Bay bike lanes choice to next phase

Design modifications based on community input to be delivered to council this summer

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read