(In the past, I have found unexpected feathers in the yard. I suppose it is all the hawks in the area.)
But, while I was sitting outside, watching the birds a week and a half ago, Cookie sped by me, in a straight line, heading for the woods. It was strange but I didn't really connect that something bad had happened. My husband went to investigate. Her two siblings were on point, and a copperhead was in their sights.
A lot of shouting ensued as my husband tried to get the other two kittens away —and hollow tree kittens are not trained to respond to commands.
I didn't know what to do. My husband directed me to get him a nearby shovel. This was a short shovel. Not one with a long handle. I did, and I saw my husband stabbing at the venomous snake, trying to keep the cats away. From my view, he was practically on top of it. Husbands don't respond to commands either.
He killed the snake.
We tried to catch her. She ran into the woods again, half-hiding in the leaves.
A friend had taken a dog to the vet after the dog was bitten by the same type of snake, and another friend had been bitten himself. Anti-venom is usually given to people. But pets are more likely only to receive antibiotics on the bite site, and perhaps an over-the-counter-type allergy medication.
And I said a prayer for her. Copperhead bites are not usually fatal to humans, but...she was not even five months old. And the snake wasn't far from where I'd been sitting. She could have saved me from having a venomous bite.
The next morning, my husband took food outside. Little Cookie popped out of the woods. One part of her face was slightly swollen, and she ate like the little champion she is.
Barn cats may keep mice away, but tree stump kittens are my favorite.
I can't believe I complained about my husband feeding the kittens tuna along with their favorite cat food.
And when my husband said he forgot to buy more canned cat food, and would be going back out for it, I said, "Can't you give them tuna?" Luckily, he remembered the sardines I asked him to get for them.