Marni Adams was driving down Clifton Road at 7:30 a.m. last Sunday on the way to meet a group of her friends for their regular run.
But her otherwise routine morning took a decided twist when she was confronted by a coyote walking across Clifton near Caldow Street with a cat in its mouth.
Call it a maternal instinct. Or a passion to help an animal in need. Whatever it was, it motivated Adams to stop her car, jump out from behind the wheel and attempt to rescue the cat.
Adams quickly caught up to the coyote and began screaming at the startled animal in hopes it would release its grip on the feline.
“I was making wild sounds, trying to scare the coyote,” Adams recalled. “I could see by the erect cat’s claws that it was alive, trying to fight free. The coyote came to a stop, dropped the cat, proceeded to run up the hill, stopped once to look back and then left.”
Adams was aware of recent complaints from local residents about coyotes snatching pets that were running loose, and she has seen coyotes often as she lives near Knox Mountain.
She said the protocol for what to do if confronted by a coyote with a pet cat in its mouth didn’t enter her mind, as her first instinct was to help the cat.
Other than being angry and hissing, Adams said the cat amazingly didn’t suffer any wounds.
“I wasn’t sure what to do. I called my girlfriends and I called the fire department for help,” Adams said.
At that point, the cat bolted inside a drainage pipe grate to hide.
Adams had noticed a resident across the street watching the incident, so she went to ask if it was their cat.
Adams was told the cat belonged to the house two doors down, which turned out to be Jamie Johnson.
The cat was an 11-month-old Bengal tabby named Indica, which had gone missing that morning after being let outside to go to the bathroom.
Johnson, and his girlfriend Emelia Templeton, ventured over to the drainage pipe where it took them about two hours and a lot of coaxing with the help of a can of tuna to get the scared cat to come to them.
Johnson said they took it to the vet where the cat was given a clean bill of health.
“It was pretty tragic for us when the cat went missing. We were appreciative of (Adams) to stop and take the time to chase after the coyote and help out our cat,” Johnson said.
Adams reiterated the importance for pet owners to not leave their cats or dogs outside at night, as coyotes tend to hunt for food between dusk and dawn, and sleep during the day.