A 2-month-old kitten vs. a hungry hawk or other raptor is hardly a fair fight and, barring a miracle, results in a quick, gruesome death for the feline.
Meet Feather, the Shelter’s miracle kitten, who somehow survived such an attack. She was brought to the Aiken County Animal Shelter (ACAS) with gashes to her neck and severe head trauma. The Good Samaritan who brought the injured kitten to the shelter said he thought a hawk had attacked Feather. Upon examination, it was confirmed the kitten’s wounds matched such a scenario and the Shelter’s medical team went into action to treat her.
“When Feather first got here, she was barely holding on,” said ACAS Veterinarian Assistant Betty Erikson. “She was in shock and very weak, and we weren’t sure she’d make it through the night. But the next morning, she really surprised us – she was bright, alert and greeted us with meows.”
Feather continued to improve and get stronger each day. Although her injuries left her with neurological damage, she could walk with a wobble. Sometimes she walked in circles and her head tilted to the left, but she was determined to reach her desired destination. Whether she needed to get to her food bowl or into the arms of the nearest human, nothing was going to stop this kitten from reaching her goal. If she fell, she got right back up and kept going. The Shelter staff began to understand how Feather had managed to beat the odds and escape the hawk.
Although she continues to improve and was just added to the adoption floor, Feather may never be completely “normal”. But she is as vocal, loving and energetic as any kitten you’ll meet. Plus, when she fearlessly leaps into your arms, begins purring and nuzzles your face, she will instantly win your heart.
Just try to stop her.
REMINDER: Every pet kitten should always stay indoors. They are helpless outdoors on their own and easy prey for not only hawks and owls, but also coyotes, foxes and raccoons. While adult cats are better equipped to protect themselves outside, they also can be attacked and killed by wild animals. In fact, on average, cats who are permitted to roam outdoors often don’t live to see age five, while cats who are always kept
indoors can live to be 18 to 20 years old. So, please keep all your pet felines inside with you, especially at night. If your cats must explore the outdoors, know the dangers and make sure they are spayed/neutered.
Their lives are in our hands.
By the Numbers
Last week, 25 dogs were surrendered to the County Shelter in just one day!
Domestic Shorthair, female, 6 months old, brown and black Tabby, 5.5 pounds – $10 (available at Aiken PetSmart store)