WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Washington Township is rural. Sightings of wild animals aren’t totally uncommon.
But a bobcat? Inside a family’s home?
Eight-year-old Nancy Castro said a bobcat wandered into her home through the open back door around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The little girl had been playing outside with her mom and 2-year-old brother when they saw the cat sitting in their living room.
“Yes, I was scared, but I had to be brave,” Nancy told CBS2’s Jessica Borg.
“When we said ‘come, kitty,’ he stretched out his arms and his teeth and then he started to growl.”
So the family ran into the bathroom.
“The cat was right here scratching the door,” said Nancy said.
They called police.
“One officer actually did enter the residence to confirm that there was a bobcat inside. He observed it, and then quickly retreated back out.”
That’s when the officer snapped photos of the young male bobcat staring out the window.
The family said they waited, locked in their bathroom for more than two hours until finally the bobcat jumped out of a window and ran right into the woods.
Less than 24 hours later, the same cat sauntered into Pat Desimone’s backyard about a mile away.
“Nice size, about 3 feet long, 2 feet high,” he said. “Looked like a little mountain lion.”
It attacked his 7-year-old dog, Stella, who is now healing from injuries all over.
Desimone’s girlfriend saw the bobcat on top of the dog, swiping at her.
“She’s a rat terrier,” Susanne Barber said. “She will go after anything just to do what she needs to do to protect the property, but I think she knew she may have been in over her head.”
However, the feisty dog was able to run back into the house. The couple shut the door on the cat in the nick of time.
“Everyone that saw the cat actually said it looked healthy, but the fact that it didn’t rush away into the woods — which a normal cat would do — makes you think maybe rabies,” Barber said.
The bobcat was eventually captured Thursday night by wildlife officials and is being tested for rabies.
Desimone and Barber will be getting rabies shots. Their dog had already been vaccinated against rabies.
As for the Castros, they’re now leaving their door shut — at all times.