This cat is stupid. We've had him tested. Seriously.
What I really meant was this cat will stand its ground to racoons, dogs, groundhogs, foxes, cayotes, whatever, but the owl stopped him. Really, those other predators were far more dangerous. This is him demonstrating his lack of cognitive depth.
As big as the barred owl that visits us is, he's not going after a 10 pound cat (and if he does, unfortunately, I think he loses more than the cat does).
The hawks, might take him, but not that owl. It's an ugly thought any way you look at it, though.
You're cat isn't stupid, he/she's actually very smart. That owl could take her out. Woodsy doesn't play.
We were hanging out on the roof of our old apartment watching the sunset a few years ago, and we saw a hawk drop with such velocity and stun a pigeon that it made this loud 'boom'. He landed talons first, but he could have easily taken a small mammal like a cat. I heard about a hawk (I think this was out in MD) dropping on a woman's little dog, can't remember if it was a yorkie or something else, and she fended the hawk off eventually, but the tug of war and intial slam from the hawk tore the dog up pretty badly. He needed medical attention, but he survived. Probably didn't want to go outside anymore, though...