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'I'm still in shock' | Charlotte pet owner warning others after coyote kills her cat

Emily Ostendorff's home video camera captured the moments when her cat ran after a coyote in front of her house.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A South Charlotte pet owner is sharing how a coyote killed her beloved cat in an effort to warn her fellow pet owners.

Emily Ostendorff's 14-year-old black and white cat, Nigel, was sitting on the front porch around 5:45 p.m. last Tuesday when a coyote crossed the front yard.

Ostendorff's home video camera captured the moment Nigel ran after the coyote.

"So they just kind of came around here," Ostendorff said, pointing to an area next to her driveway. "I don't know what happened, but then Nigel ended up over here on this corner."

The coyote killed Nigel before it scurried back to the woods.

Falyn Owens, an extension wildlife biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said teenage coyotes strike off by themselves in autumn.

She said because of their youth and naivete, they often howl and wander into neighborhoods.

Owens said they prey on small pets, but they’re afraid of humans. 

"If you see a coyote in your neighborhood, scare it off," Owens said. "That teaches them to be afraid of us."

She said small pets should be kept inside, which Ostendorff said she would've done had she known the prevalence of coyotes.

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"I didn’t know how prevalent they were in their neighborhood," Ostendorff said.

She hoped sharing her story will honor Nigel's life and prevent other pet owners from experiencing similar sorrow.

Credit: Courtesy

"It's been a week, and I'm still in shock about it," Ostendorff said. "He was my best friend."

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission recommends pet owners remove any pet food outside, store food waste in secure containers with tight-fitting lids, and keep birdseed off the ground around feeders.

Contact Brandon Golder at bgoldner@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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