LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Surrounded by three coyotes in the backyard of his family's Los Angeles home Monday night, a brave cat named Max held his own and tried to fight them off all by himself -- and the tense standoff was captured on video.
Maya Gurrin and her husband were watching a movie in their Highland Park home when they noticed a shadow of a tail through the window.
They went outside to check it out and were stunned to find a group of coyotes in their yard.
“I just kind of scream and lunge at them, and then they run away, and Max comes, like, strolling in as if nothing happened,” Gurrin told KTLA on Friday.
Little did the Gurrins know that until they scared away the coyotes, the animals had surrounded their beloved pet, apparently eyeing him as dinner.
Then, they checked a surveillance camera.
“It wasn’t until we saw the security footage, we were like, ‘Oh my God, he was out there for a good 30 seconds at least just fighting these guys off,’” Gurrin recalled.
In the video, the coyotes tower over an outnumbered Max, but he wouldn't back down.
The cat repeatedly lunged at the coyotes as each approached separately, forcing them to back off momentarily. But they kept coming right back at him until his owners eventually frightened them off.
“I knew he was like, an outdoor cat and could fend for himself, but nothing like that,” Gurrin said.
Though she can laugh about it now, Gurrin acknowledges the incident could have had a much different -- and tragic -- outcome.
So, even though Max prefers being outside, the couple are trying to figure out a way to balance his need for freedom with their concern for his safety.
“He is miserable inside; it really breaks our heart,” Gurrin said.
The solution, for now, is a harness that can be used to walk the cat -- though his owner admits she’s uncertain if he’ll be OK with that.
The Gurrins have lived in the area for a couple of years and have seen coyotes walking in the street, but they had never seen the predators approach their cat before.
In the aftermath of the incident, Gurrin warned fellow pet owners in her neighborhood to be careful.
“Yes, [the coyotes] saw dinner," she said. "But they were not scared and it even took them a second to kind of move when we went outside."