It was not the first time our cat had brought a surprise back with her. It was not even the first time she had greeted in a live bird. Perhaps it was that she released it in the bedroom instead of the basement or living room (her usual places to set her prey loose).
I think what really surprised me the most was the size of the bird that was now flying in a panic around my bedroom.
Over the years, with two female housecats who we let outdoors a couple of hours each day, we have had our share of rabbits, mice or other rodent, and birds enter our home. Most of the time they are still alive, scared, but for the most part, unharmed. Cats who are adequately fed do not hunt for food, they hunt for fun, and so they usually do not eat the animals / birds they capture. They usually bring them to the humans as a present or to show that they had something something.
Being a Healer, I know the importance of helping these animals and birds overcome their shock before releasing them, as it is the shock that often kills them, not any injury they may have sustained.
So the bird that was currently flying around the bedroom was just the newest bird requiring my attention.
Unfortunately, that was also going to be a BIG problem. I was used to helping little sparrows that frequented our backyard and the neighbor's birdfeeders. This bird was a lot bigger-in fact, he was a predator himself. He was a hawk.
I have to admit that my close interactions with hawks have been lacking. I think the closest I ever came to one was when one was in a tree eyeing a dead bird nearby. Still, the bird was a lot farther away from the one that now stood on my dresser looking like it would attack anyone or anything that moved.
Normally I would have let the bird calm down a bit before approaching him, but it had been injured by my cat as I saw blood on the floor and walls where the hawk had flown. It was enough blood to suggest that waiting was not a good idea if I wanted him to survive.
But there were those talons. And there was that sharp, pointed beak.
And those little eyes were watching every move I made.
I closed the bedroom door to contain his flight then grabbed a small blanket to throw over him. It worked. The bird could not fly. I donned leather gloves and sunglasses (for protection) then lifted the bundle, careful to hold the feet. With my husband's help, I was able to examine the bird without injury to either of us. He had a little cut on his back and one of his wings was missing a few bigger feathers. Both wounds were bleeding.
As I found no other wounds that were of immediate concern, I gave the bird the homeopathic medicine Aconitum napellus ("Aconite") for the shock. Aconite works great to calm shock in animals as well as humans. I've used it before on traumatized animals and birds, and when responding to auto accidents.
When the remedy had calmed the bird, I cleaned the cuts then washed him the homeopathic medicine Gunpowder to stem infections. I banded his wing so it would not move for transport to the Wildlife Sanctuary. For rehab, they would do a great job.
But alas, they were closed, so the hawk was brought home and put in the bathroom for the night-it was quiet and there was not anything the hawk could hurt himself on should he wander around. He looked a LOT better than he had before he was given the homeopathics.
The next morning, the bird was doing great, but I still was not sure about the wing. I removed the bandage from his wing, lifted him up and allowed him to fly-he did not do so good-so I took him to the Sanctuary for further care.
The hawk was probably the size of my cat and I wondered how she had gotten the jump on him. Marin (my cat) had no injuries, which was surprising considering the hawk was a predator that would prey on cats. Perhaps, being that the hawk was small, he was not a threat to Marin.
The hawk was released from the Wildlife Sanctuary a few days later. The rehab assistant had been surprised that the bird had not arrived to the Sanctuary in shock, and did not develop an infection and was able to be released so quickly. I was not surprised, however, because I knew the healing abilities of homeopathy.
I wondered the stories the hawk would tell to other hawks, even joked a little, thinking the bird would probably come up with a very dangerous and exciting story, telling of the great battle that had wounded him. Had he told the truth-that he had been captured by the cat-he probably would have been teased for quite a while.