Author Topic: Be kind to your fellow creatures.  (Read 2190 times)

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Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 381
Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« on: July 13, 2022, 07:52 PM »
Because they were all put here just like us, and they have their little lives, too.

So a few days ago, I’d just finished a job, I was walking back to the van in the cold and the rain, and for some strange and inexplicable reason, I happened to glance down towards my feet. I saw this little guy on the ground.
 
I bent down to take a closer look - and he moved. He was still alive.  A quick search on ‘that’ engine quickly identified him as a baby rat. I immediately named him ‘Bilbo’. I’m childish like that. In the UK, rats have a bad press. Mention the ‘r’ word to the average street citizen, and the chances are that the responses will revolve exclusively around Black Death, bubonic plague, Weil’s disease, sewers, neck attacks, filth, and so on. But that’s unfair and 95% untrue. They’re hugely intelligent, sociable, and most all of the diseases they’re blamed for are actually the fault of other organisms which employ rats as their convenient hosts. It felt important to me that I should save him from a cold, lonely, wet death. I gathered him up and drove straight to the closest veterinarian, who recommended artificial puppy milk via a syringe, plus warmth and comfort. I bought a little rodent carrier cage, plus straw bedding, a water bottle, and other stuff.

Within a few hours, the difference was  incredible.

I’d read, however, that the first 24 hours after rescuing a baby were critical. These little guys have absolutely no ability to regulate their own body temperature once they’re out of the nest and away from Mom’s warmth - so they’ll either freeze or fry if the ambient temperature is just a few degrees off.

Despite my best efforts - Bilbo didn’t make it. Despite me sitting up all through the night to feed him every hour and trying to keep the room temperature at the correct level, he just suddenly went limp and died at 5am yesterday morning. I took him out into the forest behind my house, and laid him to rest on a little bed of leaves, surrounded by flower petals from my garden.

Nature will now take its course - he’ll either decay and return to the soil, or he’ll be collected to provide nourishment for a passing owl - maybe to feed her own babies.

Goodbye little fella. It was a privelege to have known you.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2022, 08:21 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline Yardbird

  • Posts: 343
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2022, 08:26 PM »
You tried and at least gave him some comfort in the end.  Thank you for doing the correct thing.

I have a daughter that is a veterinarian in California.  Someone brought in a little black and white kitten they found that had been traumatized and basically in a coma. They spent some money on the kitten, but came back the next day and said they could not afford to continue, and abandoned the cat.  I understand that, the chances were nil for it to survive.  The clinic told my daughter they would provide the supplies if she wanted to continue medical treatment of the kitten.  (Hardest part of her job is putting animals down).   The kitten was in a semi-coma and when awake had very spastic movements, no control of the lower body.  I excepted spinal injuries.  We were only visiting in California for a few days, but I wanted that kitten to know at least it was loved.  He improved to the point where he could slightly raise his head, and would lick milk off of my finger.  I spent the evenings with him on my chest so he could feel my heartbeat.  It helped having a vet in the family, as he was on IVs and everything else.  Every night when we put him in a box to sleep, we expected for him to be dead the next morning. His eyes at first just had that dead look, but after a few days I could see the hint of a cat in his eyes. That glimmer was only for a short time, but kept getting longer each day. Anyway, by the time we left he was trying to raise on his front feet.  The rear would just flop sometimes, no control and again I was thinking spinal injuries. 

That was in Sept of 2019.  At Christmas our daughter flew to Ohio with this cat and gave it to us. (her husband is allergic to cats, so that helped)   The cat had a full recovery (still has a back leg spasm every now and then) and has become a great cat.  My wife was not a cat person, but this cat decided to claim her and always looks for lap time with her.  We have had cats for over 40 years, and this is our favorite cat.  The next favorite was also a black and white.  So was the cartoon Sylvester.  Must be something about that breed.


Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 381
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2022, 08:54 PM »
@Yardbird Thanks for that. The true measure of a civilised society isn’t about how we treat our equals - it’s about how we treat our so-called ‘lesser’ others - including baby rats and injured cats.

Around ten years ago, I was on holiday in Paris. I found this little, tiny gal in an alley doorway - cold, wet and so, so scared. A van is such a useful tool when you have a sudden need to smuggle a puppy through the 22-mile UK-France tunnel to avoid dystopian quarantine rules . I’ll just leave this picture here. We even taught her English;



PS - I really hope you called your cat ‘Thufferin Thuckertash’. I’d like that a lot. Greetings from the unusually warm UK. It’s sunny and no-one’s ever seen this big orange circle in the sky before. We’re all scared.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2022, 09:35 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline Yardbird

  • Posts: 343
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2022, 11:01 PM »
Love the dog-those big sad eyes!

I wonder if that rat was older than a newborn.   Mice are born with no hair and I would think rats would be the same.  Newborn mice are the color of a pink eraser. 

My view on animals:
Before my daughter became a vet, she decided she wanted to be an animal trainer.  So she enrolled in a college that has a student ran zoo, in their EATM program.  That stands for Exotic Animal Training and Management but EATM also works as she was walking an ocelot once, realized too late she did not have the choke chain tight enough, and ended up in the hospital with a nasty bite.

Her first year she had to train a rat and wanted me to build a maze.  Design was up to me.  I thought it was only fitting to make a pirate ship maze.  The rat had to do 10 tricks.  I don't remember all of them, but it hoisted the Jolly Rogers flag, pushed a lego man off the plank, fired a cannon that popped out a flag saying "boom" (did not want to scare the rat) and climbed to the crow's nest.  The ship was a cut-away so you could see the interior, and I am thinking it had three levels.  So it ran the maze going through the different rooms under deck, then performed the tricks on the deck.

Among other animals she trained, she also worked training a baboon.  Baboons are territorial, so before we walked to the cage, she told me not to look at her, if the baboon looked at me for me to be submissive and look down at the ground, and not to draw any attention to myself.  We were standing there with a crowd of other people watching the baboon perform when some girls walked by talking too loudly, which broke the baboon's concentration.  The baboon gave the girls an eye flash which is about one step away from an attack.  Some people got the girls to move on, and the baboon was starting to settle down, when one of the baboon's trainers from a number of years ago came walking by.  Even though she was a distance away, the baboon saw her on the sidewalk, instantly recognized her and went absolutely ape-s___.  Show was over.  That baboon instantly recognized its old friend.

Here in the states we have a bumper sticker that says "The more people I meet, the more I like my Dogs".  I agree with that statement, and I don't even have a dog.

I never understood why something is called "inhumane" or called an "animal" when I think animals are better behaved than a lot of people. 

 

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 442
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2022, 06:01 AM »
@woodbutcherbower : when I was a student I did some volunteering in a local farm. One day, while cleaning out the hay loft, we found an abandoned rats nest. These were brown rats. I brought home 2 with me. They were not as young as your tiny one, but still quite young. They have lived for almost 6 years. If you realise that the well-known white-belly rats you see in pet shops seldom live beyond 2 years (because they have been bred to get tumours easily), then you start to think about what we people do to animals.

Great try on saving that little one! Thanks for taking the effort!

Our last 4 dogs have been rescues, three of them older dogs that no one wanted. It is amazing how much love there is in those thankful animals. They deserve a chance to a good life.

Here is our latest one, a huge and very sweet mountain dog of the Maremmas (Italian) we adopted from Sardinia:

« Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 06:03 AM by hdv »

Offline scb_yyz

  • Posts: 23
  • Grudge No Toil.
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2022, 07:37 AM »
woodbutcherbower, you're a kind heart.  As my wife tells me almost daily, look for the good in society, and today, your message rewarded me. Thank you.

I too have had the opportunity to help the little ones, I have a couple of chipmunks that I support through peanut donations, especially leading up to winter..  funny they don't see eye to eye.  Each has its own personality.  One lives back of the house, the other at our front.  I have about 4 grey and black squirrels that come.  I usually have a loose 'family' of blue jays, which I've learned to call by whistle. Varying ages and maturity.  They sit outside my front door at 7am in February, whistling for me.   I have a raucous riot of fearless chickadees which have learned to trust me enough to eat from my hand.  They come and ask for handouts when I take the garbage out.. fluttering about my head, hovering and staring me in the eye.  I help them all through the cold winter.  I've had a few garter snakes I've moved off when the grass is getting cut.  And I've helped 3-4 birds come back to life that have tried to short-cut through the house.. Windows unfortunately closed.  As my social world shrinks as I age, this is my small neighbourhood of steadfast friends.. they're more like family now.  "All creatures.."
« Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 10:41 AM by scb_yyz »
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Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 381
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2022, 07:51 AM »
And I've helped 3-4 birds come back to life that have tried to short-cut through the house.. Windows unfortunately closed.

Thanks so much to everyone for all the kind words and sentiments. Here’s my one and only bird rescue - he flew into the window glass of my workshop and knocked himself out. I thought he was a goner - but after a few minutes of recovery in my hand, he just flew away. It was great to see.


Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4282
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2022, 08:01 AM »
@woodbutcherbower, I'm surprised that you didn't name the little guy "Ratticus"...   [big grin]   Good on yer for the try, though. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline JINRO

  • Posts: 131
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2022, 08:47 AM »
@Yardbird Thanks for that. The true measure of a civilised society isn’t about how we treat our equals - it’s about how we treat our so-called ‘lesser’ others - including baby rats and injured cats.

Around ten years ago, I was on holiday in Paris. I found this little, tiny gal in an alley doorway - cold, wet and so, so scared. A van is such a useful tool when you have a sudden need to smuggle a puppy through the 22-mile UK-France tunnel to avoid dystopian quarantine rules . I’ll just leave this picture here. We even taught her English;

(Attachment Link)

PS - I really hope you called your cat ‘Thufferin Thuckertash’. I’d like that a lot. Greetings from the unusually warm UK. It’s sunny and no-one’s ever seen this big orange circle in the sky before. We’re all scared.

Truely adorable!!! :)

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 361
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2022, 10:20 AM »
Timely thread,
Night before last, a little bat got into our house somehow. After the fact, I learned we did just the right thing for getting it out. Which was;
Confine it to a single room if possible.
Open a window
Turn out the light and leave the room.

The poor thing was kind of panicked, flying in circles around the room, shifting his path whenever we moved. A couple of times when he stopped and landed on something you could see his chest heaving.
It was clear that trying to catch it directly wasn't going to work, Not knowing what else to try I got the windows in front of my desk opened up and took down two monitors that blocked the window. Then we turned out the light and left. The cat, which had been trying to chase it when it first got in, was standing by outside the room to try and "help".
We checked the room 10 minutes or so after, and the bat had left.

Bats, along with lots of other critters are unfairly maligned, but they eat a lot of bugs, and are generally beneficial so I understand. There is some rabies risk in touching them, so caution is warranted, but there are hazards in interacting too closely with lots of wildlife.

Bon Appetite mr/ms bat!

Offline Adamsse

  • Posts: 8
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2022, 12:09 AM »
The other day I opened my garage door to start woodworking and heard a buzzing behind me.  A hummingbird came in my garage, got turned around about half way in, and instinctively was trying to go up to get out.  He kept bumping up against the ceiling.  He had plenty of latitude to go out horizontally but he was too panicked to figure that out.  I tried to hold up a black broom (contrasted against the white walls/ceiling) to try to encourage him to go in an opposite direction, but it didn’t work. 

After a while I realized I just needed to give him a chance to wear himself out and hopefully get lower to fly out. After about 15 minutes of incredibly athletic/panicked flying he rested on my garage door brace, but too high for me to try to help in a positive way. He started flying again for another 10 min and got worn out on the edge of a jig close to the floor.  He was so exhausted that he let me get close. When I tried to edge him into an upside down bucket (since he liked to go vertical), he had a final burst of energy when I touched him and flew low out the garage door and away from sight. I have chosen to believe that he survived.  I’m a birder and have never seen a hummingbird change to a darker color like that from exhaustion. I’m so glad at least he got out.

I’ve been a FOG lurker for several years and have learned so much from other’s postings.  Thanks for all who contribute to this forum.

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 381
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2022, 02:53 AM »
@Adamsse Welcome to the FOG. A wealth of knowledge here, and great people. I think this thread alone says a lot about the group you’re now part of. I’d recommend that you edit your profile to show your location. It makes things a lot easier when folks are trying to give advice - not all products are available in all territories.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2022, 03:03 AM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1274
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2022, 04:16 AM »
Timely thread,
Night before last, a little bat got into our house somehow. After the fact, I learned we did just the right thing for getting it out. Which was;
Confine it to a single room if possible.
Open a window
Turn out the light and leave the room.

The poor thing was kind of panicked, flying in circles around the room, shifting his path whenever we moved. A couple of times when he stopped and landed on something you could see his chest heaving.
It was clear that trying to catch it directly wasn't going to work, Not knowing what else to try I got the windows in front of my desk opened up and took down two monitors that blocked the window. Then we turned out the light and left. The cat, which had been trying to chase it when it first got in, was standing by outside the room to try and "help".
We checked the room 10 minutes or so after, and the bat had left.

Bats, along with lots of other critters are unfairly maligned, but they eat a lot of bugs, and are generally beneficial so I understand. There is some rabies risk in touching them, so caution is warranted, but there are hazards in interacting too closely with lots of wildlife.

Bon Appetite mr/ms bat!

When I was 10 years old, (I'm 44 now) we had a bat inside our living room.
I had a friend over to play, and he said he knew what to do, took a dish-towel and started to swing it above his head. This probably messed up its sonar so it dropped to the floor. He then picked it up carefully with the towel and took it outside.

Offline Adamsse

  • Posts: 8
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2022, 10:24 AM »
@Adamsse Welcome to the FOG. A wealth of knowledge here, and great people. I think this thread alone says a lot about the group you’re now part of. I’d recommend that you edit your profile to show your location. It makes things a lot easier when folks are trying to give advice - not all products are available in all territories.

Profile updated.  Thanks for the recommendation.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3775
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2022, 04:52 PM »
Time for another story:

Company for Dinner

“Is your dog in the house?”  It was my neighbor who had just knocked at our door.  My family of wife, two small children, our dog and I had just taken our places around the dinner table.  Of course, the dog was seated on the floor close to one of the children’s chairs where she felt it most advantageous to catch small scraps of food as they dropped to the floor beneath.

Four years before, Brigitte and I had tied the wedding knot. Shortly there after, I started a vegetable garden.  As long as I could remember, I had worked in the family garden as  a “responsibility” chore.  Once I had my own little piece of property and a wife, I continued my enjoyment that was no longer a chore.  When the children and a dog appeared, it became a whole lot more fun. 

The only problem was RACCOONS.  They were upsetting only to a  point.  While living on my uncle’s farm, we always had a garden.  I loved helping to take care of those veggies of all descriptions.  I loved, even more, the partaking of the harvest.  The raccoons liked just about all the items I enjoyed, especially the corn.  Those pesky little devils always knew, before us humans, exactly when the corn was ready to be eaten.  We never trapped or tried to poison the animals.  My cousin was a hunter, so we did, sometimes, end up with meat supplied by the raccoon family, but we never killed them unless we needed meat on the table. We did find ways to outwit the animals.  We put leftover table scraps on the ground close to the crop of the day (for the raccoons).  In that way, we were serving up a distraction,  so hopefully, no sweetcorn would be eaten.  With my own garden, I discovered watermellon rind to be a delicacy and very nourishing for those pests with the ringed tails.

Once the garden had played itself out, the raccoons would go to our garbage containers.  At that time, I would bring home metal containers and put heavy rocks or concrete blocks on top of the lids for discouragement.  I much preferred to “try” to outsmart the greedy little monsters.

I replied to my neighbor, “Yeah, she is right here under the table awaiting goodies to drop to the floor.  Why do you ask?”

“Good.  Keep her in the house because I am putting poison in my yard to get rid of the raccoons.”  He left immediately.

My wife and I looked at each other, our mouths open, but speechless.  Our children started to cry. I immediately, once I got my mouth to close, removed myself from the table, went outside and removed the tops from our garbage cans.  I explained to the kids that raccoons like to tip over garbage cans to get into all the goodies that we throw out from our meals. “They will eat from our table the same as Buzzy (our dog at the time).”

The kids were happy.  My wife was happy.  I hope our neighbor was happy. I am certain the ‘coons were happy.  They strewed garbage all over the area around those containers.

In a very short  time, veggies in the garden started to attract the raccoons.  At that time, we would put out a tray of goodies every evening right after we finished our own meal.  That was even better fare for our animals.  They cleaned that tray and left our garden alone.  Wellll, mostly alone. 

About a month later, my wife’s niece and nephew came to visit for three weeks from her native Germany.  On the way home from Kennedy Airport, we got the two children all excited with our stories of feeding, not only a raccoon family, but a family of skunks, a couple of opossums and even a porcupine.  We rolled into our yard in time for Brigitte to fix up some goodies for dinner while I lit the outside grill to fix up some “dog’s and burgers”. 

After finishing our meal, we set out the usually expected tray of food for our wild friends.  Brigitte’s niece and nephew, as our own children, were very disappointed. None of our new “pets” showed up.  In fact, not one showed up for the entire three weeks of their stay.  We looked for them every evening, but no luck.  Not even the porcupine or skunks, which had obvious means of defense at their disposal, showed up.  The evening we took the relatives back to Kennedy and waved “good bye”, the animals reappeared.

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 381
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2022, 06:49 PM »
@Tinker Great story and thanks for sharing !! I'm so glad I started this little thread, every post just reinforces faith in humanity. Great to know there are such caring people out there.

Best wishes to all who have contributed.

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 1080
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2022, 02:34 PM »
woodbutcherbower--that is a beautiful bird!

Your dog looks like our dog. We adopted Evie in January from a local dog rescue    www.FOHA.org .

Evie had been used as a breeding dog in NC. She ended up in a shelter in NC and was scheduled for euthanasia last Fall. The good people at FOHA brought her to their facility here in Loudoun County VA. She had been terribly mistreated, but after plenty of care at the Vet and plenty of love and affection here at our house, she seems to be on the mend.  [smile]

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 381
Re: Be kind to your fellow creatures.
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2022, 06:08 PM »
@Rob Z Always happy to hear about mistreated dogs being re-homed by caring people who will give them a proper life. Good for you. My son re-homed two ex-racing greyhounds (is greyhound racing even a thing in the US?) who were basically just running machines kept in cages. Within just three months their entire personalities had changed. They're the most chilled, calmest dogs I ever encountered.

The pretty bird is a European goldfinch.