Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
The Slaughter Of The Innocents
by admin - 20:38 on 05 April 2013
Today felt like the first day of spring – fine enough to do a few (small) jobs in the garden, warm enough to leave the door open. It's a shame the forecast says it won't last.
More worrying is that the rise in temperature seems to have heated The Fearless Ones' blood. The day began with Pandora and a mouthful of dead chaffinch, then Willow proved she's joined the ranks of hunters by bringing in a shrew. It was rescued but its prospects looked poor.
Willow struck again later in the morning and carried home a common lizard, which was rescued unharmed, then another shrew, which wasn't, then another lizard, which was. The only way to distract our smaller kitten from further homicide was by taking her for a walk – made alone because Maia refused to leave The Rural Retreat, despite the sun, and Pandora was worn out after a busy morning.
Willow, on the lookout for more victims
The sun must have made the small game active because, every few steps we took down the drive, Willow stopped to listen and look inquiringly into the undergrowth, on a couple of occasions rising up like a meerkat to get a better view. A buzzard calling way overhead, and the screech of an invisible tawny owl (the second successive day I've heard one in the afternoon), reminded her that much more efficient predators are around.
Back at the Retreat, Pandora was in the garden and acting suspiciously amongst a pile of leaf debris. A glance confirmed that another lizard (or one very unlucky individual) was receiving unwanted attention. It had lost its tail – a lizard defence mechanism – but was rescued otherwise unharmed.
One of the survivors, although this lizard lost its tail
I may sound unconcerned but I'm not happy about the growing death toll. The search for early warning collars continues although I suspect that fatalities would continue even if bells are attached to the murderous moggies. Our garden is sizeable, much of it wild, and we're surrounded by farmland which Pandora has begun to explore – there must be an abundance of quarry for determined kittens.
That is one thing I am not looking forward to. See you very soon.
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