Yesterday, I had to share with you some sad news about poor little kitten Eric, who was born into a tough situation, and fought off an upper respiratory infection twice before it got him the third time. I have another sad story to share with you today.
You will remember how Jacey and I were not happy about being banished from the balcony, because we like to go outside to work on our fur tans. We are southern California cats, after all, and we need to get outside and enjoy the sun. We get a little coming in from the windows, but nothing beats relaxing outside on the balcony.
Our human explained to us it was because we had two little mourning dove hatchlings on the balcony. We promised that we would not harass the birds, and gave him our most innocent and cute looks. Well, he didn’t fall for it. He knows that even though I am a diabetic cat, I will attack birds because it is in my instinct. I am a predator, after all.
But while keeping us off the balcony eliminated one threat from the hatchlings, it didn’t eliminate all of them. Most mourning doves do not make it past their first year. And while we cats are like you humans and kill many of them by hunting them, predation only accounts for a small percentage of the losses. Disease and starvation are the main killers of mourning dove hatchlings. Two diseases that ravage the dove population are fowl pox and trichomoniasis. Both of them can affect the mouth area, and thus kill by starvation.
My human thinks this is what happened to the hatchlings. One of them died on Friday. To try to keep the other one alive, he bought a suet and seed mix, which many wildlife organizations use to feed hatchlings. The second one didn’t eat any of it, and it was dead this morning.
He is sad the birds did not make it. He told me and Jacey they were like his babies, too. Well, I told him not to be sad, and that he was a good human for trying. And I reminded him that he takes care of a diabetic cat like me, and has rescued four cats.
He will put the birds in the compost at the urban garden where he volunteers. I told him that these birds will help create nutrients for the plants that produce seeds for other mourning doves to eat.
That got me a pat on the head, and he said, Bagheera, you may be a diabetic cat, but that sure didn’t affect your brain. You are a smart cat! Now both my human and I are happier.