By Associated Press
June 10, 2006, 5:52 PM EDT
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.
"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's editions.
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 on 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.
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.