'This is James Hetfield': Metallica singer calls B.C. woman after she used song to scare off cougar
A Vancouver Island woman who scared off a cougar by playing a Metallica song is living a dream after the band contacted her.
Denise Gallant ran into the big cat in July on a remote logging road south of Duncan.
She said the cat was staring at her so she tried yelling at it and raising her arms to scare it away.
When that didn't work, she reached for her phone and blasted the song Don't Tread On Me by the popular heavy metal band, causing the cougar to run for the bush.
"It was one of those songs that start of assertively and it just has those notes that kind of kick you in the face right away, and that's what I did to the kitty," she said.
Her story was widely publicized and caught the attention of James Hetfield, the frontman of Metallica – which happens to be Gallant's favourite band.
Hetfield picked up his own phone and gave Gallant a call.
"His first thing was 'Hi Denise, this is James Hetfield from Metallica,'" she said. "I basically said 'You don't have to say you're from Metallica, I know who you are.'"
Gallant said over the course of the conversation they talked about dogs and Vancouver Island.
"He goes 'Yeah, I'm just reaching out because you had mentioned on one of your posts you wanted to let us know we saved your life,'" said Gallant. "He said 'I'm just calling to let you know that we know.'"
Hetfield even texted Gallant a photo of himself to confirm it was him making the call.
After her brush with the cougar – and the singer of her favourite band – Gallant said the cherry on top would be thanking the band in person.