A 5-year-old British tortie has struck a blow for cat lovers all around the world by casting doubts on the widespread belief that songbirds will inevitably be rendered extinct by armies of murderous felines.
The London Daily Mail — my favorite source for weird news about cats — reported last week that a friendly feline rescued a nest full of chicks and brought them to her home in Somerset, England.
Vikki and Wesley Spencer were shocked when their cat, Bella, strolled into their home late on the night of July 5 with a completely intact bird nest in her mouth. Inside was a tiny goldcrest hatchling.
Goldcrests are the smallest songbirds in Britain. Their zeeeee andcedarcedar-cedar-cedar-cedar-stichi-see-pee calls can be heard all around the country, but the tiny avians are rarely seen.
But the story only got more awesome from there. Bella actually went out again and came back with the chick’s two siblings in her mouth and placed them on the floor by the nest. Both of them were still alive.
Vikki quickly placed the nest and its tiny residents in an airing cupboard so they could stay warm until the next morning, when she transported the little rescues to the RSPCA West Hatch WIldlife Centre.
When he heard the strange story of how the nestlings came to find themselves in the Spencers’ home, RSPCA West Hatch Manager Peter Venn said, “I’ve not heard of a cat doing anything like this before.”
Unfortunately, despite Bella’s heroic rescue and the care they got from the Spencers and West Hatch staff, two of the chicks died. The remaining goldcrest will be cared for by wildlife center staff until it’s old enough to be released into the wild.
If it hadn’t been for the efforts of one amazing cat, all three of those chicks would certainly have died, either by starving or freezing to death or by becoming food for hungry predators.
So much for the wailing and chest-beating about genocidal felines. Take that, Nico Dauphin!