As a cat ‘Mom’ I’m put in the position of having to rescue Jaeci’s hunting victims on occasion. Jaeci’s killing instinct is easing as she gets older, so she tends to bring her catches to us alive.
I always opt for ‘the rescue’ if I think the hapless one has ANY chance of recovery. If not…I put the creature in a sheltered, quiet, dark place with prayerful, extra loving blessings for a quiet, undisturbed death transition.
July 31st 2010
Just after 8pm, Jaeci (our 5-year-old cat) caught & brought us a hummingbird…to our dismay. Since it was her gift, I’ve taken to thanking Jaeci, staying calm, gently picking up the shocked victim in a paper towel while Bill distracts and chats with our kitty.
Lavender Essential Oil May Help Ease Shock & Trauma
The hummingbird was alert, but paralyzed with fear and shock. Placed it carefully in our homemade wildlife rescue box ~ a Lands End shoe box pierced with a row of breathing holes along the lower front & back edges, a large viewing window cut into the top, covered with a grid of transparent packing tape (sticky surfaces taped smooth) spaced to leave air vents for circulation, and lined with a soft, washable, hand towel for cushioning.
The Bird Rescue Center** had closed at 8pm. The Rescue Center volunteer was just leaving when I called. So the little hummer was going to have to spend the night with us in the dark warm shelter of our laundry nook away from Jaeci’s nocturnal prowling.
Birds Respond Well to Essential Oils
Phoned one of my essential oil friends, who had recently attended a lecture on how to use essential oils for animals & birds. Birds respond well to essential oils since they’re exposed to them constantly in the wild. So I put the tiniest smear of LAVENDER* near the ventilation holes and the viewing window, figuring the molecules would float into the box and revive the wee bird.
August 1st 2010 ~ 7:30am
Checked the hummer the next morning to see how she was doing. As I moved the box off the washing machine to the sink counter into dawn’s gray light, there was a flurry of buzzing activity. The little hummer was looking up at me through the viewing window with both wings working perfectly! I debated about taking her to the Bird Rescue Center so she could be treated for possible puncture wounds, but decided it would be better to release her here.
Carried the box to our front porch railing, leaving Jaeci in the house. Opened it facing away from me….and out she buzzed straight to the nearest tree. Hope she’ll be okay. And hope she’s learned something about cats!
A few days later…
In the rose garden doing summer pruning, heard a hummer buzzing & chipping nearby. Whirring by over my head, a female Anna’s hummingbird alighted on a rose branch 3-4 feet away ~ out of reach ~ but still surprisingly close by. She sat there calmly. Watching. Cocking her head first this way then that giving me a good look over. Curious behavior. Suddenly, I realized this was likely the rescued hummer, who had come back to look at me on her own terms. And perhaps to say ‘Thanks’ in her own way. After a few awed moments, I slowly reached my hand in her direction. But that was a bit TOO much…even for a grateful hummingbird….and she took flight, busily chipping her farewell.
12-26-2010 Read the story about our second hummingbird rescue this year.
*Read more about Lavender’s Healing Properties
**The Bird Rescue Center is a non-profit that runs on donor contributions. If you love birds and would like to support the Center’s 24/7 rescue efforts, the volunteers & staff would be most grateful.
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), photograph by Calibas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Annashummingbird.jpg / GNU Free Documentation License