Mowgli is one killer of a cat! He’s always on the prowl for whatever prey is available…young rabbits, mice, shrews, moles, and unfortunately birds. If it moves in the slightest, he’s on it! Mowgli is also a member of our family and we are members of his pride. He often returns from hunts with his kill to share with us. Most of the time he chews all around the body of his catch. He often leaves the entrails on the deck as if waiting for someone to bus his table. Sometimes Mowgli is ambushed by our ranch sized Pomeranian who absconds with Mogli’s meal. Milo then has a treat that he didn’t deserve. Our cats and Milo have a large yard to patrol and they are completely happy with what may fall from the sky.
Sometimes birds will hit the picture window and drop to the ground stunned or killed. But what I fear the most is a bat that is on the ground. Bats are never terrestrial…It’s not their nature to be anywhere on the ground or be seen in daylight. The first thing I consider is if a bat is out of its natural environment is that is sick! What illness in bats causes abnormal behavior? Rabies!
Bats are the reservoir for rabies in the State of Oregon. There have been 14 rabid bats detected so far this year in the state according to Dr. Emilio DeBess, our state public health veterinarian. Can bats get indoors? You bet! I have found two dead bats and captured two in our house since 1991. Scary thoughts haunt me sometimes.
What precautions can we take with our feline and canine friends? Number one is diligently vaccinate for rabies, even if our pets are strictly indoor pets. Two, if you see wildlife not behaving normally, stay your distance and keep your pets at a distance. Never touch or let your pets pick up a bat…Period.
Visit the Oregon Health Authority’s web site on this subject.