Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Jigsaw - 18

Isn't nature an incredibly suprising thing.As I write this, I'm also listening in on a television programme called 'Spring Watch'..The live programme shows updates on nesting birds,,how the chicks are fairing...and other species like Foxes, Squirrels,Stotes....anything wild really and it's a great programme to learn about the wilder side of the English countryside.
My Father was a member of the British Ornithological Society and through him I learned about birds and something about the ways of nature. I find it odd when chatting to people that they don't know even the most basic things about the life that surrounds them.I like to sit outside in the evening here and catch glimpses of the Swifts, migratory birds which always return to the same nest to lay their eggs an hatch their chicks...then at the end of the summer,they fly back to North Africa till next year. I like to watch the bats catching moths...there are foxes.....and there are the cats....and its the cats, or more specifically my cat that brought home the poignancy and brutality of nature to me today.
A year ago we welcomed two Manx breed kittens to live with us ...one of them (Tremble) was sadly run over and killed last Autumn.But Wilba has grown and is still alive, although it takes around 5 years for a Manx cat to reach adulthood, she recently became pregnant. We always intended to let her have one litter,keep one of the kittens then have her neutered. I knew she was due to give birth any day now as her girth increased and she waddled around the house.
This afternoon my eldest son Sam called me into his room to look at wilba as she was acting strangely.She was under his bed...as I crawled underneath I could see the unmistakable fluffy shape of a kitten...the same pattern as it's mum and no tail...but on closer inspection I was sad to see the kitten was not alive....Wilba was licking away frantically but there was nothing else I could do.The most shocking but logical thing I then witnessed was Wilba started to eat the kitten.Logical in that she had carried this kitten for so long and used up the energy giving birth, the only thing left was to recycle and regain some of the spent energy. I couldn't let her devour the little kitten entirely so took it from her...but I was shocked all the same.
Horrific I know, but amazing how instinct guided poor little Wilba...Incidentally, she is fine now about 5 hours after the event.She only had the one birth.


Shachi said...

OMG! I didn't know that cats would do this. My husband would know coz he watches animal planet a lot.

I so much want a pet, but everyone around me (including hubby) disagrees with the idea :(

You said it well - it's odd to not know even the most basic things about the life that surrounds us....I'll try to be better :)

I bought Planet Earth DVD set recently...and plan to watch it in pieces. Have you watched it on BBC?

Robin Neudorfer said...

What an experience. You taught me a lesson in animal behavior. Curious why only the one birth. I hope you will let her try again. Perhaps she was just too young.

Preeti Shenoy said...

Ah Niall.
Wish you had let her eat it since it was dead anyway.
Pensthorpe is home to BBC's spring watch. I simply LOVED my visit there.
Sending you pictures.
Take care my friend. Will speak to you soon.

Bob-kat said...

How sad for Wilba and the poor little still born kitten, and for you as well :(

You are quite right about people's lack of knowledge of the natural world around us. I am constantly surprised by little people know about our flora, fauna and animal neighbours.

Niall young said...

Wilba is well and fit ..eating well with no adverse signs today (Wednesday)

Devil Mood said...

Poor Wilba.
Still so young and having to go through all this adulthood drama ;)

Animals do shocking things, but then so do we...I guess we have a hard time coming to terms with these things when they're so different from what we do.

Tys on Ice said...

i recall that theres a painting somewhere called 'saturn devoring her children'

in a very symbolic way we all are devored by our mother arent we?...earth...dust to dust..recycled...

i hope shes ok..