Dee Gallant was reportedly walking her husky-retriever, Murphy, down a logging road in south Duncan two weeks ago when she caught a glimpse of the cat eyeing her from approximately 50 feet away, reports The Globe and Mail. At first, Gallant tried to spook the cougar by waving her arms around to no avail. Then she took out her phone and started filming.
“I thought, ‘I’ll just start recording,'” she told the paper. “‘This is really cool, I want to share this, and if I get eaten, then at least people will have footage of what happened and they’ll know what happened to my body when they find my phone.’”
When after a few minutes the cat hadn’t retreated, Gallant decided to change her tactic and began searching for the loudest music she could think of. Ultimately, she landed on Metallica’s “Don’t Tread on Me.” The song proved to be the perfect fit. Gallant aimed her phone at the cougar, turned the volume up to full blast and watched the cat immediately turn and run away.
Later that evening, she took to Facebook to share her encounter. The story quickly went viral and was even picked up by CNN. Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett later posted a link to a story about the encounter on his own Facebook page, and on Friday morning, an artist liaison for the band messaged to ask for Gallant’s contact information.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield called later that day.
The two reportedly talked about dogs and life on Vancouver Island. The guitarist said that he had read Ms. Gallant wanted Metallica to know that it saved her life, and that he did in fact know, according to The Globe & Mail.
After their phone call, Hetfield also texted Gallant a photo of himself smiling and making a devil horn’s gesture, reports The Globe, which was accompanied by the message “Thought you might like some confirmation that it was me.”