If you had read my previous post A butterfly🦋on a bus🚌 without a ticket you would remember that I mentioned at the end of the post that another story that happened minutes after my rescuing a beautiful Grass Yellow from its journey on a “one-way-ticket” in the city bus I was travelling in.
This is the story, rather a Prey-Predator drama, that started and ended in a span of about 5 minutes. A span that turned out to be the luckiest span in the lives of two animals. And, I had seen three creatures finding themselves lucky to be able to see another day.
After alighting the “butterfly-carrier” bus one stop ahead of mine, I walked about 10 minutes towards my block and was about to enter the walk-way towards the lift lobby when I suddenly spotted a neighborhood stray, in a posture that we usually associate with a cat, 100 to 200 times bigger than this one here 👇 .
We are so urbanized that we often forget there are still a lot of wild genes left in our pets and us. That, in spite of some of our race reminding us, every now and then, of our wild origins 😂. But it may not be the case with our canine or feline pets, as this story seems to indicate.
The stray was actually waiting to pounce on a spotted dove feeding on rice that someone must have accidentally spilled there.
You can see that the dove was completely unaware of the cat’s presence and was going around feasting on the windfall of cooked rice. And, the cat waited for a full minute as if to make sure that the dove was really unsuspecting of its presence.
It made its move as the second minute was running but as this 👇picture seems to indicate, its pace may not be right to capture a creature with three dimensional mobility.
…. and the result !?!
The dove had enough time to take off and the kitty didn’t have the ability or, maybe, even the instinct to leap into air to down the bird with a paw swipe.
It is also possible that the cat was distracted by something as it seems to have turned away in the crucial moment. (Completely absorbed in capturing the unfolding drama I couldn’t notice that distraction.)
Anyways, the feline missed a chance to taste some bush meat. You can see that the cat looking at the escaped bird which perched at a safe height on an African Tulip tree standing on the other side of the walk way.
It was as if the feline was trying to figure out how it missed the bird. Or, it might be justifying its own failure to itself the way Aesop’s fox justified its inability to reach some grapes saying they were sour and unripe?
But Kitty quickly got over her disappointment within the minute (see the time on the pictures) and ran for something ……
… it spotted at the base of the African Tulip (on which the spotted dove landed after its lucky escape) and ….
…. walked off triumphantly with a Garden Lizard
The bird’s luck turned out to be fatal for the poor lizard. Or, did it?
After the successful catch the kitty, it seems, didn’t know how to proceed further. Bad luck of being an abandoned pet!! I could see that the lizard wasn’t dead and was watching the dazed lizard just as the clue-less “predator” was. But, the look on the frightened-to-death reptile’s face was heart-wrenching.
I was almost regretting being there when the dinosaur-descendant gave a surprise. It made its move.
Kitty made quick moves too. Soon she found the reptile and brought it back to its former place.
I thought the lizard’s days were over and not wanting to see what was to follow, I was preparing to leave the scene. As the cat placed its “bush-meat” lunch on the grass the reptile made its last ditch effort with all the strength and speed it could muster up. It escaped for a second time.
A minute or so after the escape the cat was still searching around and I was sure the dove and the lizard were going to party that evening. As for the kitty’s bad luck, well, she has to understand that all predators of her race succeed in only one out of every ten or so attempts to down a prey. In any case, as a well-cared-for feral she doesn’t have to pray for her daily prey.
After saying all that I wanted to, I still can’t overcome that look on that lizard’s face – that look of shock and surprise at being so close to being kicked out of existence.
Bye4Now, until I am ready with my next story, that of an interaction between a wild Black-naped Oriole and a Caged BulBul which I have been witnessing for over year now.