A Deep Cove teacher whose family saved a deaf and blind cat from drowning in the ocean Saturday is holding her own felines a little closer.
Nicole Phillpotts was hosting a family party at her house on Epps Avenue in Deep Cove on the weekend, about half a block from the water.
As fate would have it, a lifeguard named James was one of the party guests.
At around 8 p.m. James took a stroll with his girlfriend down to the waterfront where they spotted something in the ocean.
“It was struggling and kind of rolling over and he was definitely going under the water. It was drowning, basically,” says Phillpotts, relaying the version of events to the News this week.
The young lifeguard managed to crawl through the bushes and because the tide was in, just grab the grey and white cat by the scruff of the neck.
James then carried the lifeless cat back up to the house. Party guests grabbed some towels to dry off the feline and “tried to get him out of shock.”
“So we put him on the deck. And there was one woman there who’s actually a nurse so she kind of gently pushed to see … He was breathing, but not very well,” says Phillpotts.
The Good Samaritans placed some hot pads on the cat and then immediately got him off to an emergency vet in Vancouver.
Not knowing if the feline would pull through, Phillpotts was now left with the unenviable task of tracking down his owners.
Phillpotts put out an email to the local Block Watch captain and together they found the cat’s keepers, who happened to live a couple doors away.
Phillpotts received a bouquet of flowers and a card from Spunky the cat’s grateful family who brought him home as a kitten.
“I don’t know that he’s doing great. He is a 20-year-old cat who is deaf and blind, hence the reason he ended up in the water,” says Phillpotts.
Based on the letter she received, Phillpotts figures Spunky will spend his last few days with his family.
“And then I think he’s going to pass on to his next life,” she says.
Phillpotts, who has two felines of her own, doesn’t consider herself a hero – but she’s definitely a “cat freak.”
“I was just doing what hopefully anybody else would do,” she says.