CORNER BROOK — Edgar Burton had never seen a coyote before.
He thought the animal he saw in a stand-off with his cat in the backyard of his Allen's Road home Sunday morning was just a dog.
When he went outside after hearing a commotion around 9 a.m., Burton was more concerned about his feline pet Dusty. He got in between the animals and scooped up his cat.
With Dusty in his arms, Burton turned around and was surprised to see the canine intruder still there. He lunged at it and it took off from the property and vanished out of sight.
At that point, Burton was more concerned about his nine-year-old cat’s well being. He could not see any blood or obvious external injury, but the cat was shaking and not right.
He called a vet and it was clear Dusty had some sort of internal injuries. Dusty did have some saliva on her and Burton believed the aggressive canine had picked her up and shook her.
After further examination by the vet, including X-rays and an attempt to save Dusty with surgery, it was decided that Dusty was too badly injured to live the comfortable life she had enjoyed up to that point.
Burton and his wife made the heart-breaking decision to have their beloved Dusty euthanized.
“Dusty never went any further than our backyard whenever we let her out and she would only go out for half-hour or so,” said Burton in disbelief of the horrible ordeal.
Allen's Road is in the Curling area of Corner Brook and is relatively close to the woods.
Burton still thought the culprit was just a roaming dog, until he started describing what happened to some friends and neighbours.
“Someone said to me that it sounded like it might have been a coyote,” he said.
“I’ve never seen a coyote. I didn’t know what one looked like or even that one would bark like a dog.”
Burton searched the Internet and when he found a YouTube video of young coyotes, he was more convinced it was a coyote that attacked Dusty.
“That’s exactly what I saw,” he said, looking at the video of two frolicking coyote pups. “It was about the same size as them.”
Whatever it was that killed Dusty, Burton said it is going to take some time for him and his wife to get over the sudden and traumatic loss of the cat that was so much a part of their family.
He hopes no one else experiences it.
“My purpose of going public with this story is to let other people in our neighbourhood know what happened and to be careful with their pets and small children,” he said.