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Jack the cat proves his mettle by chasing black bear up tree

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, sits under a treed black bear in a backyard in West Milford, N.J., Sunday, June 4, 2006.
Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, sits under a treed black bear in a backyard in West Milford, N.J., Sunday, June 4, 2006. (AP Photo / Suzanne Giovanetti)

WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) -- A black bear picked the wrong New Jersey yard for a jaunt earlier this week, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree -- twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, chasing small animals when he can, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," cat owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's newspapers.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey home's back yard on Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes peering down at the cat from the tree, the bear descended and tried to run away, only to have Jack chase it up another tree.

At this point Dickey, who feared for her cat, called Jack back home and the bear scurried back to the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.

Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.

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