A Nelson woman was startled to come home and find a bobcat in the basement of her Johnstone Road home on Friday afternoon.
Leanne Kalabis figures her basement door must have blown open while she was out. The wild feline came inside, wandered down a long hallway and around a corner, then couldn't find its way back to the door.
"I could hear something running around and lunging at the window," Kalabis told the Star.
She and her dog went downstairs to investigate.
"Initially I just saw the front of its face and thought, 'oh, it's just someone's cat,' but then I saw the rest of it," Kalabis said.
The animal was about three times the size of a house cat, with the distinctive black-tufted ears and stubby tail that could only belong to a bobcat. Kalabis' dog, with a slight size advantage, went after the animal.
"They battled it out for a little bit, then the bobcat scaled the wall towards a windows and got into the blinds," Kalabis said. "It became pretty entangled in the blinds, as it was thrashing and hissing at my dog."
She back went upstairs with her dog, whose ear was bleeding from being swatted by the bobcat, and closed the door to the stairs to prevent the animal from following them. She called the RCMP and her neighbour, Dr. Jim Noiles, for help.
The bobcat was stuck in the blinds and could not get free on its own. So, RCMP officer Michael Stefani grabbed a role of duct tape and connected two broom sticks together and attached his knife to the end.
He cut the animal free and shooed it out the door.
Kalabis doesn't know what attracted the animal into the house. It didn't get into anything or cause any damage prior to becoming wrapped in the blinds.
"I think it was just confused," she said. "More than anything, it wanted out of my house."
Though bobcats are typically most active during the evening and early morning hours, it is not uncommon to see the carnivores hunting during the day in the winter, when their prey — rabbits and small rodents — are more difficult to find.