I decided yesterday evening to stretch my legs and get a breath of fresh air, so I took a turn around the block.
Passing my local nature reserve, a white and ginger cat sloped along the kerb on the opposite side of the road. We both stopped … the cat eyed me carefully.
This dark-eyed cat had an air of malice about it.
Then something just ahead moved. A small dark spot that, on closer inspection, was a rodent. I crossed the road and saw that the cat had taken interest in a shrew!
The shrew was in shock and the cat was still interested, so I stood guard (sneaking an irresistible quick photo with my phone!).
When the cat sloped off. It was clear the kerb was too high for the shrew to climb. I built a ‘ramp’ of sorts from twigs and leaves, for the wee mite to climb back to its scrubby home and disappeared back into the night.
This photo is not the highest of equality as it was taken at dusk, not wishing to alarm the shrew any further I turned my flash off and took the photo by street light alone, so I’ve tried to brighten it in processing.
For those of you wondering why I didn’t just simple pick the shrew up to take it to safety, shrews are easily stressed by handling and the poor thing had been through enough. Also, shrews are a schedule 6 protected species* so I thought the best thing to do was stand guard and then build the small rodent an escape route.
This is not the first time I’ve rescued something from a cat in this same area. I once stopped a rather confused cat attacking a still-twitching ‘dropped’ tail of a slow worm!
*Schedule 6 Animals (naturenet) – http://www.naturenet.net/law/sched6.html