On Monday, an elderly cat in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, Canada, approached a pack of seven pit bulls, attacking one of them.
But it was a dog named Bandida who wound up getting hurt.
The dogs were on a walk with four people, including Javiera Rodriguez ― Bandida’s owner ― and Kyla Grover, who are two founders of “Pit Bulls of Victoria BC,” a community group for pit bull lovers.
Not everyone agrees about every detail of the incident. Grover told The Huffington Post in a Facebook message that the dogs were all “minding their own business on a public sidewalk” when the cat “came running off its property at the group of dogs and latched onto Bandida’s face.”
But one of the cat’s owners, Betty Jean Thompson, has told multiple news outlets that one of the dogs crossed onto the lawn.
And while Grover characterized the feline as aggressive and hostile, Thompson believes that her pet, a 16-year-old cat named Baby, was frightened at the sight of so many large dogs and was acting out of the desire to defend her family.
“She’s kind of a slow sort of thinking cat, but one thing is she is very protective of me,” Thompson told The Canadian Press.
But no one disputes that Baby attacked Bandida. Grover said that Bandida “stood there and took it for quite a while” before grabbing the “loose skin” on the back of Baby’s neck to hold her down. Thompson, however, found the scene a little more jarring.
“It looked like our cat was dead and I thought the dogs were going to rip it apart,” she told CHEK News.
But the fact remains that Baby escaped unhurt. Bandida’s injuries, on the other hand, resulted in a $222 vet bill, which Thompson and her husband, Del, paid. Grover, who said she broke up the fight by putting one hand in Bandida’s mouth and one hand on the cat, was also scratched by Baby.
“This is a prime example of how gentle pit bulls truly are, any one of those dogs could have killed that cat if they wanted to, but they didn’t,” Grover said. She added that while the fight was taking place, the other dogs simply barked.
“She’s not a vicious attack cat at all,” Del Thompson told CHEK News. “But that’s the impression that’s left from the media coverage.”
Neither Grover nor Rodriguez want to see anything bad happen to Baby, but they see the case as highlighting the double standards that pit bulls face.
“If the roles had been reversed or even if Bandida had fought back and injured or killed that cat she would be deemed dangerous and possibly euthanized because of her breed,” Grover said. “Pit bulls already have two strikes against them before stepping up to the plate.”