While walking this morning, Daisy and I encountered the bane of my existence: the orange and white cat that roams our neighborhood. Now, I like cats. They can be cuddly, amusing, and quite personable. So, I like cats. When they are kept INDOORS. This particular cat has, over the last two years:
- Turned portions of my yard into his own personal litter box;
- Squished and/or shredded expensive perennials in my yard;
- Killed shrews in my yard;
- Killed a nest of baby Cardinals in my yard; YET~
- Somehow evaded roaming packs of cruel children, speeding vehicles, other larger cats, dogs, coyotes, thorns and prickers, disease, parasites, pestilence...you get the picture.
It is nearly ALWAYS in my yard, lying in wait near my bird feeders or bedding down in my flowers, and Daisy and I routinely shoo it away (or spray it away with the hose set on F-22 Fighter Jet). I have also, on four separate occasions, seen other neighbors carrying this beast down the sidewalk, back to the address listed on its collar. So it has a home. But not very responsible owners.
This morning, the cat was skulking away from the neighbor's yard with a screaming baby bunny in its mouth.
Have you ever heard a baby bunny scream? It's not pleasant. It actually sounds very human. So Daisy and I swung into action, eventually convincing the cat to drop the baby in the middle of the intersection and run off. (This 'convincing' consisted of Daisy going apeshit-bananas-crazy all up in the cat's face...strangely, she never even noticed the baby rabbit.)
And there lay this infant bunny, small and brown and helpless in the middle of the street. Damn. My heart sank, because at that point, I was "involved." I picked the little girl up, took her inside, tucked her into a box with some towels and a warm water bottle, and called every local wildlife rehabber I could find. Unfortunately, among those I could get ahold of, nobody was taking rabbits.
So I drove her to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, which willingly accepted this sweet little critter into their rehab program. I know the odds are still long for her survival (wild baby rabbits don't do well in human care), but I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I hadn't at least attempted to save this tiny life--because it was dropped very nearly at my feet, and also because that's just me. Before I left the facility, I wrote them a check for a hundred bucks. "That's quite a bit for just a little bunny!" the woman at the counter replied.
It wasn't just for the rabbit, of course. The sanctuary is a non-profit nature education center, caring for over 4,000 orphaned, sick, or injured animals in 2008 alone. I can think of worse things to spend a hundred bucks on. My good deed for the day? Totally worth it.
I recently saw the cat sneaking back to the scene of the crime, and Daisy and I chased it off again. My neighbors must think I've totally lost it. I may need to call the Humane Society tomorrow. It could be time to give the local wildlife a break from Mr. Killsforfun. A confrontation with kitty's owners is out of the question. If four of my neighbors couldn't convince, perhaps the inconvenience of fetching kitty from a facility across town will. And who knows? Maybe a compassionate individual would adopt him and keep him INDOORS, safe from cat fights and cars and disease.