Domestic cats are excellent hunters, always stalking and in many cases catching garden birds. They may then present the caught bird to their owners, as if to repay them for the care and food. An earlier post details how a cat caught one of a pair of kingfisher. Mynas normally alert other birds whenever a cat is in my garden and we have also been told that cats are a definite no-no in Australia.
There are many cases of cats killing birds but there are just as many cases of the birds being rescued by the owners, to be nursed back to health and then released. This is a case where the bird ultimately found freedom when the owners intervened.
Teo Lee Wei has two cats in her house. Kitty the tortoise-shell cat and Meatball, the cat with the tuxedo suit and white socks (top). Well, in November 2006 Kitty (above) ran up very furtively to her bedroom with a strange bird in its mouth to be followed by Meatball.
Lee Wei’s husband Kais ran after the cats and managed to prise the bird from Kitty’s jaw and took it away. The bird was in deep shock but did not appear to have any injuries (above). It was placed in a bird cage and both of them nursed it for a day (below). They then locked up their two cats before setting the bird free, giving it ample time to make a getaway before releasing the cats again.
The strange bird was later identified as the Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi).
Input and images by Teo Lee Wei.