A Victoria traffic stop early Sunday was punctuated by a surprise guest in a police vehicle — a cat who decided to make itself at home.
The cat was found sitting in the front window about 2 a.m. after officers had dealt with a driver who had reportedly gone through two red lights.
During the stop on Kingston Street, officers noted signs of impairment by drugs. The driver agreed to a field-sobriety test but then refused to complete it, resulting in a 24-hour driving prohibition and her vehicle being towed.
A video of the cat encounter was posted on Instagram, and an officer can be heard saying in a gentle voice: “Hey you, hey you, you can’t just jump into my car.”
The cat was released at the roadside “without charge,” according to a police news release.
Police spokesman Bowen Osoko said the encounter with the cat brings to mind another incident about 20 years ago when a patrol sergeant picked up a stray kitten on the Johnson Street Bridge on a dark, rainy night.
Osoko said the cat had darted out in front of the police car and sergeant thought he had hit it, but he found it unscathed beneath the vehicle.
The sergeant drove around with the kitten for the rest of the night then took it to the former communications centre at the station, where it was thought the kitten could stay for a brief time until being taken to the SPCA.
Two months later the kitten — dubbed C.C., short for communications-centre cat — was still there, at which point it was presented with an official police-identification card. C.C. was a fixture at the centre until its death two years ago, Osoko said.