Friday, 18 April 2008

making a summer

Martins, not swallows. I've been uploading some pics from the soon-to-be-published Wildlife Rescue, by Angela Wilkes, pictures by *hem hem* moi, and packed full of useful tips to help you work out what to do when you meet an animal in distress. I found the advice useful not too long ago when I ran over a cat.

Not that I go out of my way to run over cats, you understand.

I was bimbling along Hampton Road when a small furry thing hurtled out from the other side of the road and straight under the car. BUMP. That horrible noise that a car makes when it's just run over a living thing. I pulled over hard, and followed the cat which was crawling desperately away; it got through a locked garden gate; I rang on the doorbell.

A girl answered the door.

"I've just run over a cat, and it's in your garden," I said. "May I go through and rescue it?"

Wordlessly, she waved me through.

The cat saw me arrive and scrabbled furiously at the wall, afraid that I was going to take it back to the road and finish the job off.

I threw my jacket over it, and bundled it up so it couldn't struggle. Then went round to my friends who live just down the road from there, and phoned the RSPCA. The cat was hyperventilating. I was feeling a bit distressed, too. Tom gave me a whisky, which helped. Me, anyway.

The RSPCA chap arrived and took the cat away.

Later, I got a phone call from the cat's owner, thanking me for rescuing her pet. Very guarded thanks, obviously; I don't think she was happy that I'd run over her pet.

But then, I wasn't happy about it either.

Cat probably wasn't, too.

We do what we can.

Darn, I was going to write about something entirely different. Better start a new topic.

Ha, swallows. Saw my first one of the year, on Monday. It was flitting about in a huge blue sky as I photographed gargoyles on Wraxall church.

Now, where was I?


  1. I read in New Scientist that one of the most stressing of jobs is that of rescuing animals...

    Glad the cat got back to its owner, lets hope it recovered.

    I've not seen any swallows yet - you are lucky to have spotted one!

  2. that figures, I suppose... wild animals especially don't know that you're trying to help, and can go for you. And they're so messy... we rescued a seagull with a broken wing on Whiteladies Road- I threw a scarf over it and contained it with that, and took it down to the RSPCA. Ended up throwing the scarf away after... yurk.

    There was a R4 programme last week about the onset of spring, and apparently swallows have been seen over Chew Valley lake for weeks and weeks. Typical. Still, it's the one you see for yourself that counts.

  3. Your seagull story reminds me of one we "rescued" as children... we kept it alive for a long time but I think it eventually died... it was hugely smelly, it did seem to have adapted to living in the old chicken run we gave it but I don't think its wing ever properly healed. And I don't think my mother was about to pay a vet to help with that...