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Cat proves his mettle by chasing black bear up tree

Sunday, June 11, 2006

WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- A black bear picked the wrong yard for a jaunt, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree -- twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange and white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, often chasing small animals, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey property last Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes, the bear descended and tried to run away, but Jack chased it up another tree.

Owner Donna Dickey, who feared for her cat, then called Jack home and the bear scurried back to the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.

Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.


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