Abandoned Kitten

moon phase Week of 01/28/2013 Best days to prune trees.

It was cold Monday morning, so I had to warm up my little car before heading down the river road to La Farge. A half-mile from the house, I noticed something white and fuzzy down in the ditch. I pulled over and got out for a closer look. Sure enough, it was a small animal curled up in a ball and covered with frost.

Abandoned Kitten Abandoned Kitten As I bent down, the face of a little blue-eyed kitten peered up from under a frost-covered tail. He barely moved when I picked him up, and I noticed a scrape on his chin, probably from where he hit the hard, frozen snow when someone threw him out the window of their moving car. I really don't know how the kitten ended up in the ditch in the middle of nowhere at 15 degrees below zero, but human (ir)responsibility was, unfortunately, the first thing that came to mind.

Anyway, I wrapped him up in a towel and put him on the seat next to me in front of the heater vent. He was in bad shape, so I decided to get him to someone who could care for him. I took the kitten to three different places, including the sheriff's office, but no one would take him. The Humane Society was closed, but someone suggested I call a local, grassroots cat-care called Tabby Town.

A lady answered and when I explained the situation, she didn't hesitate. "Bring the poor little guy over. I'll take care of him," she said. I thought, this kind woman was an angel from heaven. I left knowing the little frosty kitty may have a future after all.

I find it sad that there isn't a place in our society where all the sick, injured and wayward animals, wild and domestic, can find care. There are far too few people with the compassion or time it takes to care for these animals without any public compensation. It's a constant battle, trying to get funding that is never enough. Wildlife rehabilitators give their hearts, souls—and their own money—to save imperiled birds and animals. It's time for our politicians to accept this very important challenge to help animals in need. Every one of us should be willing to show our concern for these helpless animals, and encourage our leaders to create public funding. Hungry Deer Hungry Deer Nothing but good could ever come of it, and the more good deeds in our lives, the better we will be for it. It's time for all of us to set an example for future generations, and provide a little compassion for animals in need of help.

The snow that is still on the ground has frozen hard as a rock and the deer can walk on top of it without breaking through. There still seems to be enough food for them, but it will grow more scarce with each passing day. For now, it's fun to watch a deer as she slowly walks along nibbling here and there at a clump of dry grass or the seed heads of weeds. She might even stand on her hind legs to reach a few cedar berries or a dried apple. Male Red-bellied Woodpecker Male Red-bellied Woodpecker A south-facing alfalfa field has become a favorite evening gathering place for deer. One night I counted 41 deer grazing where the snow had melted, exposing something green to eat.

When it's cold, the woodpeckers are busy searching the tree trunks and branches for insects under the loose bark. The pretty male red-bellied woodpecker is busy all day eating weed seeds, sumac berries and birdseed from the feeder.

Mourning Dove Mourning Dove I like to scatter some sunflower seeds and cracked corn over the frozen snow for the birds that prefer to feed on the ground. These include juncos, sparrows and mourning doves. Ground-feeding also helps to keep the blue jays busy and away from the bird feeders. I really enjoy seeing a few doves in winter. Seven of them come for a free handout each day.

Adult Male Cooper's Hawk Adult Male Cooper's Hawk I can always tell when there is a Cooper's Hawk in the yard, because of the way the other birds act when one is around. When all the birds suddenly fly for cover, I always look to see if I can spot a hawk. I was lucky today when I spotted a little adult male Cooper's Hawk perched on the brush pile where the birds had taken cover. He couldn't get to the little birds, so he thought he would just sit there and wait for them to come out.  Red Eye of Cooper's Hawk Red Eye of Cooper's Hawk After about five minutes, he gave up and quickly flew off through the woods and the little birds reappeared. It's always a special treat to get a good look at a Cooper's Hawk, and even better when I can get a few pictures of one. They come and go so quickly I rarely get to see them, let alone get a picture. The male I saw today was in full adult plumage, with a beautiful blush-colored breast and rich dark red eyes.

Asian Lady Beetle Asian Lady Beetle Saturday morning there was an Asian Lady Beetle trying to climb up out of the sink. I placed a drop of water in front of her and she seemed eager to get a drink, which may be why she was there in the first place.

The snow came down in flakes as big as silver dollars Sunday morning, but it lasted only a few minutes. The snow turned to light rain and sleet during the night, and left a hard crust on the ground that was difficult to walk on. Snow Snow  You never know what to expect from the weather in January, and it will be interesting to see what February has in store for us!

Naturally Yours,

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Kris from on January 30, 2013 at 10:51:45 PM
Thank you so much for saving the kitty! I enjoy your newsletter.
ann from from Maryland on January 30, 2013 at 10:05:51 PM
Thanks, enjoyed this!
Teresa from from Colorado Springs, CO on January 30, 2013 at 08:42:42 PM
In the past I aquired two kittens due to human irresponsibility. The first came as a result of someone moving and leaving his pregnant cat behind to fend for itself. The second was found in a drainage ditch, not unlike your kitten, by a friend and brought to me.
Since that time, I've moved on to another species - African hedgehogs. I got my first pet in November 1996. By July 1998 I was involved with rescue and have continued. I've never turned away a hedgie in need what ever the reason. And before some go off in a tangent about exotics, let me tell you hedgehogs are wonderful, gentle creatures who bring out the very best in most humans AND many I've assisted in rescue were loved dearly by previous caregivers who had life changing events (ie. military family being transfered out of country, military family transferred to a hedgehog illegal state, caregiver deaths, and so on).
To paraphrase Ghandi, you can judge a nation by the way it treats and tends it's animals. Yes, it is time we as a nation look to aid those who have no voice of there own in our world. The result will be a better, more peaceful nation ...and maybe a better world at large will follow.
Thank you for the wonderful story.
Jan from from TN on January 30, 2013 at 08:12:07 PM
I do not know how ANYONE could abandon such a beautiful Seal Point Siamese kitty! Siamese are my favorites, I have a mixed breed who is the colors, but has some tabby markings as well, and Bubbah is a very handsome fella. I am so glad for the kind lady who accepted it. I, too, wish that more feelings were directed to the plight of wildlife, and domestic animals, who are in unfortunate circumstances. But, one has to be very careful helping save the life of a wild animal. I read not long ago of a couple who saved a fawn, and it is now two years old and they are being threatened with fines and jail, and the game officer involved said they should have just let it die. How sad! The best part of the story was, that as the game officers were planning to seize it and euthanize it (because they said it could not possibly survive in the wild) the deer somehow managed to escape! Score one, I hope, for the deer, who seemed more intelligent than the officers. The Cooper's hawk's pictures were simply beautiful. We both had a male Red-bellied Woodpecker this week, "mine" was drumming on the power pole behind my house, I think it has a good supply of insects. Have a great week, stay warm, and Happy Naturing!
Jeanne from from Hudson Valley+of+New+York on January 30, 2013 at 07:41:36 PM
So glad you rescued the kitten. I think it was meant for you, and I think Frosty would be the perfect name. Just a thought... Hawks are beautiful but I am always glad when they eat "somewhere else." :) Stay warm!
Valerie from from Morgantown, WV on January 30, 2013 at 06:39:49 PM
Bless you Dan for the way you treat nature's treasures. I was very touched with the kind story about the kitten that you rescued. I wish there were many more people out there that appreciated animals and nature as much as you. Thanks
Patty from from W. Monroe,+LA on January 30, 2013 at 06:35:35 PM
Thanks so much for your articles. I love animals and all of nature. I am a rare case here in LA. I am ashamed to admit it is a State where all things other than human takes a back seat.
Its all because of the lack of education.
gail from from California on January 30, 2013 at 06:06:00 PM
Here here for support for rehabilitation of wildlife. I am a volunteer at our Wetlands and Wildlife Center..and see the efforts the volunteers give and the constant search for funding to keep open such an amazing institution!
Beth from from StateCollege PA on January 30, 2013 at 05:33:28 PM
May I say Bless you for saving that kittens life, and how beautiful, I have two cats of my own. Who in their right mind(this person was NOT)to throw a helpless kitten out in the cold. We need to change our way of thinking and how we care for not only our animals but we humans. We had better start teaching how to care for things before they are cone forever. If I could own a ranch I would take in needy animals and maybe even some humans in need. Thank you again for being a true human being with a HEART.
Susan from from Genoa on January 30, 2013 at 05:23:14 PM
I completely understand this dilemna, particularly in our area. Seems rural WI has less compassion than bigger areas...we run a horse rescue and adoption program, so we know privilege of caring for what others cannot or will not care for. Bless you for helping this little kitten.
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