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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Monday, July 31, 2006

Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia


"I swear she is going to outlive me."
-- Colleen Hamilton

No one is quite certain how she pulled it off, but a diminutive fifteen-year-old cat named Bamboo recently survived being abducted and mauled by a hoot owl in Oak Bay, British Columbia.

The six and one-half pound feline was snatched from Colleen Hamilton's back porch on Oliver Street by a great horned owl and apparently carried back to the raptor's nest as its intended dinner. Since Bamboo's disappearance had been preceded by a loud, thump, thump, thump, Hamilton immediately suspected a Bubo virginianus because the voracious predators occasionally visit her yard.

Hamilton spent the night scouring the neighborhood for Bamboo and putting up posters without any luck. When she had just about given up all hope of ever seeing her beloved cat again, Bamboo limped home twenty-two hours later. (See photo above of the happy duo) "I nearly jumped out of the window when I heard her," Hamilton later told the Oak Bay News on July 26th. (See "Comeback Cat Survives Brush with Raptor.")

Poor little Bamboo was in sad shape but lucky to be alive. Having either been dropped or fallen from a great height, she had three broken legs and several puncture wounds, including a large piece of missing flesh and fur on her right front paw.

Most likely, the spunky feline was able to use her claws in order to force the owl to let go of her but the force of the fall was too much for her aged legs to withstand. Although cats have been known to fall from grattes-ciels in Manhattan without being injured, they probably were not quite as advanced in years as Bamboo. In human terms, Bamboo is seventy-six years old.

It is a credit to her determination to live that she was able to summon the willpower in order to make it home. "No one could believe that she was walking on the paws," Hamilton said. "No one thought she was going to survive. My vets call her the miracle cat."

Since Hamilton could not afford the around-the-clock veterinary supervision that Bamboo required, she instead took two weeks off from work in order to nurse her tiny companion back to health. Bamboo is doing better now but her right front leg is still in a cast and she may, unfortunately, lose that paw.

Hamilton attributes Bamboo's recovery to the fact that her parents were both feral. "She (has) always been really feisty and she has already survived a lot," she told the Oak Bay News. "I swear she is going to outlive me."

Many other cats, both domestic and feral, have not been quite as fortunate in their run-ins with hoot owls (See photo below) in Oak Bay, a small city of 18,000 souls located four kilometers to the east of Victoria. For instance, David Allinson of the Victoria Natural History Society told the Oak Bay News that he has observed owls feasting on cats on numerous occasions at nearby Swan Lake. He furthermore recommends that owners keep their pets inside at dusk and dawn because, like mosquitoes, that is when owls are on the prowl.

Although to the two-hundred-fifty-three known species of animal life that it preys upon the great horned owl is no doubt looked upon as a devil, the raptor in fact does not have horns. Its name is derived instead from tufts of feathers that only appear to be horns. Other than cats, owls also prey upon, inter alia, dogs, chickens, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, porcupines, muskrats, bats, pigeons, hawks, ducks, sea gulls, fish, frogs, snakes, and even baby alligators.

Since their only natural predators are other owls and Northern Goshawks, owls have a relatively long life expectancy of thirteen years in the wild and some in captivity live to be as much as thirty to forty years old. As with all animals, man is their biggest menace with shootings, trapping, and collisions with automobiles and electrical wires accounting for most of their mortalities.

Inveterate cat-haters, such as the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), National Audubon Society, et alius, rant all the time about cats killing birds but they never mention that owls, eagles, and hawks also prey upon cats. If felines must be locked up in order to safeguard songbirds as the ABC proposes, should not raptors also be confined indoors in order to protect cats? Even songbirds devour an inordinate amount of insects as well as bedevil chipmunks and other small mammals.

Furthermore, birds spread such deadly diseases as Vogelgrippe and the West Nile Virus. They also foul streams, yards, and storefronts with their droppings as well as occasionally start a forest fire or two.

Colleen Hamilton sans doute loves Bamboo but since she already knew that hoot owls frequented her yard she was foolish to have allowed her cat outside unsupervised, especially during the evening. If she is going to allow her cat outside in a neighborhood frequented by owls, it is incumbent upon her not only to keep a close eye on her companion but also to be armed with either tear gas or pepper spray in order to chase away the predators.

Photos: Erin Kelley-Gedischk of the Oak Bay News (Colleen Hamilton and Bamboo) and Paul Miller of www. owlpages.com (hoot owl).