South 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 South 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

Semiahmoo Secondary, SFN partner for Orange Shirt Day

South Surrey high school, First Nation also planning future collaborations, vice-principal says

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Delta declared a ‘Bee City’

Designation represents a long-term commitment to protect pollinators and their habitats

Break and enter at Surrey home leads to large drug seizure

Suspects were gone but officers find ‘large quantity of drugs and cash’ inside residence

NDP asks Elections BC to investigate alleged Liberal voter fraud in Surrey-Fleetwood

Campaign organizer MLA candidate Garry Thind allegedly solicited personal information from voters to request mail-in ballots over the internet

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

Burnaby RCMP search for suspects after man racially abused, has coffee thrown on him

Police treating the incident as a hate crime and assault

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

Most Read