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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Phyllis from from kennewick, wa on January 30, 2013 at 05:16:58 PM
Thank you so much for saving this beautiful kitten. May the person who did this suffer hell's wrath.
Russell from from By Springfield Il. on January 30, 2013 at 05:00:56 PM
Love these nature stories!!!!
Russell from from By Springfield Il. on January 30, 2013 at 04:58:36 PM
Being a Mother Nature lover myself, love these simple stories about any wildlife!!!
Lynn Hand from from Concord, NH on January 30, 2013 at 04:28:43 PM
Thank you for taking care of the kitten. The story was a good one.. I wold have adopted him..It is too bad that there isn't always a rescue site for abandoned animals. I hope he gets a good home. he is adorable.
Marie from from Westby on January 30, 2013 at 04:07:02 PM
Hi Dan, thank you for the mention in your article! It's nice to know that someone appreciates what we do! I have sad news about the little baby we called "Frosti." She was crushed pretty badly from being hit by a car. Her back was broken, as were her two back legs and her pelvis was crushed. She couldn't even be a candidate for wheels or we would've tried that. I gave her pain reliever right away and held her, told her we loved her and that nobody would ever hurt her again. She left this world knowing kind people and a warm touch. Thank you for picking her up out of that ditch and letting her get a couple of hours of love. May she rest in peace.
Rhonda mills from from Martinsville, VA, Blue Ridge foothills on January 30, 2013 at 04:00:21 PM
he little kitty sure was a pretty one. Who would ever ditch him? Meanness is who!
Claudia from from Indiana on January 30, 2013 at 03:29:49 PM
That kitten had two angels-you and the woman. How could anyone toss a poor little animal out- especially in the cold? It's got to be someone with a cold cold heart.
Elaine from from Hernando, FL on January 30, 2013 at 03:29:05 PM
ps. loved the kitten, wish I had been there to take and care for it.
Elaine from from Hernando, FL on January 30, 2013 at 03:28:06 PM
I just loved all your pics this time. The hawk was so great. I also have mourning doves and throw sunflowers and seed on the ground although I really don't need to as the a
squirrels knock a lot on the ground anyway. The deer surely was camoflauged while he was eating.
Stay safe and warm, your sunny Florida friend. Elaine
Karen from from TX on January 30, 2013 at 03:22:46 PM
I am in complete agreement that there needs to be more done for animals in need. It breaks my heart to see animals that have been abandoned. They roam around searching for food or shelter and unknowingly put themselves in danger ( killed by cars etc... ) the same goes for wildlife. Thank you for writing this article.
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