Kitty isn’t a dog but she’s still family, so Jack liked to stay nearby. Luckily, that meant he was close when he heard a commotion in the yard. Two coyotes had Kitty in their mouths shaking her like a toy. Jack had seen enough, and raced towards the attackers.
Cats and dogs don’t always fight, whatever the popular saying might claim; in fact, some of them are best friends. That’s the case with Jack the pit bull and Kitty the cat. The two spend a lot of time together, even though they have different owners.
Kitty lives at home with her human mommy Sherree Lewis in Seminole, Florida, and Jack’s human is Lewis’s son. The pit bull’s daddy, Peter, serves in the army. As a result, he sometimes has to spend time posted in other countries away from Jack.
Consequently, Lewis looks after Jack in her son’s absence, and his dog stays with her and Kitty. Despite their reputations as dangerous dogs, research indicates pit bulls are no more violent than other dog breeds. Jack certainly shows his loving nature around Kitty.
“He probably feels like he’s the caretaker,” Lewis said of Jack and Kitty’s relationship. “He checks on her every day and sniffs her, seeing what kind of shape she is in.” They’re a great example of a cat and dog that defy the stereotype of canine-feline conflict.
And while Kitty’s in no danger from Jack, there are plenty of wild animals that could cause her harm. For example, Florida has no shortage of alligators. A hungry gator might see a cat passing its lake as an easy meal.
Alligators aren’t the only reptiles that can potentially kill domestic animals. A number of dangerous snakes make Florida their home, including cottonmouths, coral snakes and several species of rattler. Snakes are shy of humans, but there are several viral stories of dogs and cats suffering from their venom.
Furthermore, there are venomous spiders, large wild cats and even bears that might attack a domestic feline like Kitty. However, it was none of these that marked her out as prey back in October, 2013. Instead, representatives of another species entirely caught the poor cat in their jaws.
Lewis was the first to see Kitty’s aggressors, but by the time she noticed them it was too late. Two coyotes had set upon the cat. “As I was walking to the door, I could see the coyotes over here,” Lewis told a TV reporter for Fox News, indicating her yard.
Coyotes are a species of wild canine closely related to wolves, albeit one with a much-maligned reputation. And while they’re not the most popular animal, they’re certainly adaptable. Coyotes can not only prosper in a wide range of habitats, but they also effectively adjust their behavior to urbanized environments.
Furthermore, coyotes have a flexible diet, with the ability to prey on animals as large as deer and as small as rodents, such as squirrels and mice. They’re cunning strategists, too. Among their hunting techniques, coyotes have been known to team up with badgers to dig up subterranean prey, and to turn porcupines upside down to avoid their spines.
Coyotes generally attack bigger prey head-on, by biting its target’s neck and cranium. This was also the tactic one of Kitty’s assailants had seemed to deploy in front of the distraught Lewis. “One had her by the… what looked like the neck, I couldn’t tell,” she told the TV reporter.
“The other one had her by the tail or the back foot,” Lewis continued. She described the predators as shaking Kitty “violently.” Coyotes are intelligent hunters, but there was one member of the family that the coyotes hadn’t counted on: Kitty’s big brother, Jack.
Seldom far from his beloved Kitty, Jack noticed the commotion and raced to her defense. His reaction was as much a shock to Lewis as it was to the coyotes. She said, “I didn’t know Jack could run that fast.”
Lewis recalled how Jack was on the coyotes with such alacrity that the alarmed animals dropped Kitty. Jack subsequently fought them off, and Lewis ran to the cat’s aid. Unfortunately, the attack had taken its toll on Kitty, and the coyotes had wounded her.
After an emergency medical assessment, veterinarians discovered Kitty had brain swelling. In addition, she’d also chipped a tooth. “She can’t walk yet, but she’s getting there,” Lewis told Fox in the aftermath of the assault. It further transpired that Kitty might not have been the only recent coyote victim.
Apparently, the neighborhood social grapevine had revealed several other possible attacks. Tragically, if other pets had indeed encountered the coyotes, they didn’t have a brother like Jack to look out for them. As a result, their encounters were likely fatal if the rumors were true.
“Maybe another cat came up missing, and then someone’s little dog came up missing,” Lewis recounted. When the coyotes fled from Jack, they retreated into some mangroves near Lewis’s property. With this in mind, she contacted a trapper to locate them.
The trapper set up some equipment in the mangroves and the surrounding area in an effort to catch Kitty’s attackers. But Jack remained alert and by his sister’s side just in case the crafty coyotes returned. Nonetheless, Lewis maintained that despite Jack’s reaction to the coyotes, he was a friendly dog.
“He likes other dogs,” Lewis said of Jack; “he wouldn’t have done that if there were dogs out there.” She also applauded the heroic hound’s dedication to family. “He saved the Kitty’s life, and he just shows how good dogs can be. Jack’s a hero.”