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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read