Surrey woman camps for days to find lost cat

Lisa van Vliet hired pet detectives, was prepared to fight off coyotes

After her cat wandered off and didn’t return, a Surrey animal lover not only hired a pet detective to track down the errant feline, but spent several days camping outside, and was prepared to fight off the neighbourhood coyotes, if necessary.

Lisa van Vliet told Peace Arch News Monday that Bear, her three-year-old black cat, didn’t return home on May 26.

Van Vliet began searching for the lost cat by contacting locals through the neighbourhood Block Watch program.

The first two nights after Bear went missing, van Vliet said she slept in her backyard, just in case she could hear a commotion between the cat and the coyotes.

“He’s just so little and innocent we thought he was done for, because we see coyotes across the street in the middle of the day,” said van Vliet, who lives near 145 Street near 33 Avenue.

“At least if I was there, I could hear it and protect him,” she said.

With no luck after two days, van Vliet contacted Petsearchers Canada, who arrived with two trackers and a bloodhound.

The bloodhound sniffed the cat’s harness, and tracked the scent to an overgrown lot north of 32 Avenue near 144 Street.

The trackers set a number of traps in the lot, and a thermal camera to track the cat’s movement.

Van Vliet committed herself to staying in the lot – with nothing more than a couple of blankets, a chair and cat food – every night until her pet was eventually trapped on June 2.

“How do you decide to go to bed? ‘OK, now I’m tired enough to let my cat get eaten. It’s 5 p.m., I think dinner time is in order,’” she said.

Van Vliet said she was traumatized after losing another cat eight years ago. She never got closure, and said it’s not something she wanted to experience again.

“For five years, you’re driving around and you see a black shadow near the grass. ‘Oh, is that him? Is that him?’”

Bear is recovering after seven days in the wild. Van Vliet said he sustained a sunburn, a couple scrapes and a puncture wound on his neck.

Aside from being a little spooked, though, the little black cat will be just fine.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jocelyn’s Jottings: When everyone is a friend of a friend

Chances are I know someone in Revelstoke who knows you, such is… Continue reading

Slow melt at high elevations near Revelstoke this spring

At one location on Mt. Fidelity there is double the usual snowpack for early July

Security cameras catch break and enter suspects on July 1 in Revelstoke

RCMP are asking for help to identify the men and a vehicle

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

Cancelled shows and slow reopening for Revelstoke Art Gallery

The gallery has been closed since March due to COVID-19

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Rescued hawk returned to Lumby skies

A rehabilitated Swainson’s hawk was returned to its Rawlings Lake habitat

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read