Personal birding at home and abroad, plus other natural history and conservation involvements.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Wild behaviour by feral cat! 4th February, 2012.
Returning late evening from visiting friends in the nearby village I approached the track leading up to my house when the headlights picked up an object in the road. It proved to be a dead Rabbit! I was both beginning to turn and looking at the hapless mammal when a black cat dashed out of the undergrowth, grabbed the Rabbit, and pulled it into a patch of juncus adjacent to the road. Nothing particularly remarkable in many senses in that , except the method employed by the cat. It straddled the carcass with its front legs astride it and, having taken a firm grip on the neck, it then dragged it rapidly off the road in a manner reminiscent of big cats moving their prey. I can't recollect having seen a domestic or feral cat move a large item before so have no reference point for comparison. Whilst the rabbit carcass was of a similar length to the cat it was probably marginally heavier overall. Interesting to speculate on innate behaviour coming into play!! Whatever debatable elements arise it was both a competent and efficient job the cat completed!! Moving kitty is one thing, dragging Rabbits is another!!
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My cat carries Wood Pigeons in the same way, he looks like a Leopard dragging a gazelle carcass, especially when he was younger and the pigeons were the same size as him!ReplyDelete
Much enjoyed your tales about recent journeying,
Are the tyre treads down to zero ?!!
Your story about the cat transporting the rabbit reminded us of a large cat we had years ago that would catch rabbits, bring them back and somehow get through the small cat-flap with the rabbit's neck gripped by it's teeth and the rest between it's front legs and under it's belly.
Our ten days of snow with some nights down to -9 have at last ended, with a green and pleasant landscape again around us here in Barham. It brought in a quartet of jays some days, a mistlethrush ( rae around here now) and a little owl, all desperate for an all-day breakfast. Even the badger came one bleak night, banged on the back door and demanded food and water. They have their youngsters in January so we obliged.
Fortunately raptor persecution is not ( yet ) a problem in our area, but we stay vigilant. We see men in the fields shooting at woodpigeons , but have yet to see a "hit".
Jean is recovering from yet another operation, this time a knee replacement. No chance nowadays of birding forays. Woodpeckers are drumming today, and birds are generally getting energised.
Has your back-trouble cleared yet ?
Solar activity is building up gradually, so flares and auroral displays should increase.