Angie Prime, 35, was sitting in the living room of her home in Trail, located in southeastern B.C., on Saturday evening, talking to her husband on the phone and getting ready to take her three dogs out for a walk before turning in.
Then she caught a flash of something that should not have been in the house.
"I just happened to catch something out of the corner of my eye," she said. "I just of kind of looked over and there it was coming out of the dark at me and we kind of looked at each other."
The old emaciated cougar, looking for an easy meal, had slipped into the darkened house through an open screen door.
Prime had only seconds to throw up her arms and legs to shield her face before the big cat attacked.
"I moved to try and block myself, and it kind of jumped up and I screamed."
Despite the animal's poor condition, it was still far from an even match for Prime.
"I'm only about four-foot-two and weigh 78 pounds, so it was a big cougar compared to me.
"It was just seconds, just a blur, just thinking, 'Holy!' You don't really have a lot of time to react and you don't want to get up and run.
"She got one paw on me and I got three punctures on my upper thigh from her claws," she said.
That's when her border collie helped drive the cougar off.
"My dog jumped off the couch, and flew after it and was running out the door after it."
Conservation officers kill cougar
Shortly afterwards, help arrived.
"My neighbours beside me heard me screaming, and my neighbour across the street heard me and they came running out," she told CBC News on Tuesday morning as she recovered at home.
Conservation officers tracked down and killed the cougar on Monday morning. RCMP Sgt. Rob Hawton confirmed the emaciated cat was likely driven to attack Prime out of desperation for food.
For her part, Prime is convinced her loyal dog saved her life.
"So scary and so surreal — I can just be happy that I was barely even injured. That is just absolutely amazing."
She says she plans to keep her doors closed in the future.