Monday, September 23, 2013

Something Feathered This Way Comes

Our kitten population has been taking a beating. One was hit by a car. One vanished. Smeagol was found in the farm lane way, way up on the hill. Looked as if she had been dropped from up high. The boss used to spend a few minutes every morning sitting on a bucket outside the milk house petting her and gentling her down. I am sure he misses her.

There was discussion that maybe it was a hawk, but we have never had kitties taken by hawks before. My vote was great horned owl, though we haven't seen one in years.

Then, this morning when I took little Miss Daisy out for her constitutional at just barely past dawn, a huge black shape lifted out of the honey locust right next to the kitchen. It was gone too quickly for me to get a fix on it, and it DID make some noise...owls are largely silent.

However, the noise was big wings hitting branches, not feather sounds in flight. I'll bet it was an owl, hunting Chainsaw who was right there waiting for me to come out. Chainsaw is one tough old fellow. If it grabs him it is in for a surprise!

Or maybe it is after the skunk that has been hanging around. It is certainly welcome to that, but I miss the little kitties. Only Smog is the old cats. We used to have a lot of barn cats, but it seems now, with all the varmints moving in, we are lucky to keep a handful, even though we feed them and vaccinate all we can catch.


Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Same here, you hate to get attached, but that is inevitable, and then they go missing. We have one from last years litter left, and the 4 babies from this year are still here, but winter and hungry varmints are looming.

Barn cats are heart breakers for sure!

Rev. Paul said...

It can be hard to maintain a population of barn cats, as the critters tend to be independent anyway. We never knew if it was predators or if they just wandered away, but in our part of the country it was most likely red-tailed hawks.

Cathy said...

Dang it.
Just 'Dang it." I don't wish the owl ill . . . but . . . .
. . . that 'circle of life' business - just doesn't work for me a lot of time.
Dang it.

Like Rev. Paul . . I've seen a red-tailed hawk lift a full grown squirrel out of our back yard.

lisa said...

Love the picture. I have lots to spare, would you like one.

Terry and Linda said...

Oh, darn it! Breaks my heart...I always worry here about those winged predators in the sky...and it's hard to protect ground critters from the sky attacks!


CDH said...

I hate that! I swear up and down that I wont get attached. But it never fails I do. When they go missing its so sad. I always hope they went quickly.

threecollie said...

Nita, I try to have a hard heart....alas...I don't.

Rev. Paul, we have those too and it could have been one at that.

Cathy, same here. I love having owls around. They eat things that do plenty of harm. Just wish they would exclude kitties, but I guess not.

Lisa, I would like one or two, but I'm afraid they would suffer the same fate.

Linda, you are so right!

CDH, same here. I am a DOG person. Or so I keep telling myself. But guess who gets greeted eagerly at the barn because they are the purveyor of all things cat food. lol