British Columbia·Video

Lifeguard saves 20-year-old cat from waters off Deep Cove

A North Vancouver cat, deaf and blind, fell into the waters off Deep Cove Saturday. Fortunately, a nearby lifeguard was able to avert cat-astrophe.

'Spunky' lived to see another day after falling into ocean

Spunky, 20 years old, blind and deaf, was pulled out of the waters off Deep Cove last Saturday by an off-duty lifeguard. (Andrea Philpotts)

A cat named Spunky found itself in a life-or-death situation when it fell into the waters off Deep Cove last Saturday.

Fortunately, Spunky had saviours waiting in the wings: a group of nearby high school students, one of whom was a lifeguard.

"My girlfriend's like, 'oh no that's a duck.' So I go and investigate… [and] the whole, like, 'mode' just kicked in," said James Winkelman.

"Just took off my shoes, socks, just ran in, just didn't even think. Just picked it up. All my practice and training just working towards cats."

Off-duty lifeguard saves cat from ocean

5 years ago
Duration 0:15
James Winkelman saved a 20-year-old cat named Spunky from the waters of Deep Cove. 0:15

Winkelman went the whole nine yards saving Spunky's nine lives — or what was left of them.

He did chest compressions with others pitching in to help before quickly taking the cat to a rescue centre.

Later, he found out that Spunky was probably in more trouble than an average cat would have been in such a predicament.

It turns out Spunky is not only a senior at 20 years old but also blind and deaf.

Winkelman and others went all out to save Spunky. (Andrea Philpotts)

"I feel really glad and happy especially now that I know it's blind and deaf," Winkelman said. "The owners must be so happy to have their cat back.

"I have like a dog at home and I'd be really sad if it didn't come home one day."

With files from Natasha Frakes