25
Nov
07

Kittens, Marcus Attacked by Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk
Photo: Red Shouldered Hawk by twoblueday – cc: Some rights reserved

Today in our Takoma Park, Maryland backyard, my three feral kittens and I were attacked by a Red Shouldered Hawk that swooped down from the treetops.

The kitts had just eaten and I was sitting on a log playing with them when the giant bird slammed into the dried leaves about two feet behind me. I jumped, the cats scattered, and the hawk, which had targeted Cricket, flew into a tree next door and watched us for a few seconds before soaring off. This thing was huge, with a wing span of well over three feet, and I squinted against the bright autumn sun to see if he had somebody clutched in his talons. Couldn’t be sure…

Dizzy with adrenaline, heart racing, I did a frenzied cat-count as, one by one, they poked their heads out from various hiding places. Cricket was the last to appear; he had scampered into their little shelter and was understandably cautious about coming out. Like the rest of us, he scanned the sky for danger. I had the weird sense of having slipped down a notch on the food chain.

Only MommaCat, who had watched the scene play out from a nearby stack of lumber, seemed unsurprised.