‘Tough little kitten:’ Pet survives 6 weeks by itself in Banff campground

A Quebec woman’s pet cat survived six weeks on its own in Banff National Park, after he ran off during a camping trip.

Khristine Lahaie, owner of “Lewis the cat,” says she decided to bring him and her other cat, “Mighty,” in a sprinter van on her yearly trip to Alberta.

“We decided this time to have harness’, leashes and to go out with the cats,” she told The Homestretch.

After arriving to their campground in Banff, Lahaie and her boyfriend parked the van and quickly went to bed thinking Lewis and Mighty were safe and sound.

“We parked on a slope and so gravity opened the door which was when Lewis got out,” she said.

“We stayed in the campground for three days and called the National Park authorities to say that our cat was in the campground. They told us a few tricks and to put some posters out in the campground and all over Banff.”

However once their 11 day trip was up, they were forced to head home without Lewis.

Khristine Lahaie, owner of “Lewis the cat,” brought him out to her yearly trip from Quebec to Alberta. (Khristine Lahaie)

Petah Low, a resource management officer with Banff National Park, said she heard the initial report that Lewis had escaped and suspected he had low chances of surviving.

“There’s a lot of predators in Banff National Park that can prey upon domestic cats,” she said.

But six weeks later, Lewis surprised everyone by being sighted in the same campground, taking shelter in the amphitheatre. 

“He was in surprisingly good shape. He must’ve been surviving somehow and preying on native animals like squirrels,” said Low.

“He must be a tough, little kitten surviving with that many predators around.”

After catching Lewis in a live trap, Low called Lahaie and told her the good news.

“I got out of the bathroom started screaming ‘I found my cat’ to my whole workplace,” said Lahaie.

They have since been reunited in Quebec, but despite Lewis’ lucky journey, Low wants to remind the public to take precautions when heading to the national park.

“We like to encourage pet owners to keep their pets restrained on a leash because there are these predators around,” she said.

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