Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Hunt and The Escape

This post is about the story, not the photography.  In fact, since these were shot with a long telephoto, at an extreme angle through a window, and hand held, they are not very good at all.  So please forgive the photos and listen to the story.  

I was at Tina's fairly early in the morning one day last week and I saw the orange cat from the neighborhood crouched under a bush in the back.  Something moved in the brush about eight feet away and he went into full hunt mode.  A few minutes later, I could see a small rabbit messing around in the brush, and a moment later the cat pounced.  The rabbit darted back into the brush, but the cat was fast and caught him.  He emerged from the brush with a rabbit half his size in his mouth.  He stalked off down a ditch, prey in his mouth and came out on the other side of the house.  I grabbed my camera, mounted the telephoto, and ran to a window on that side.  By the time I got the blinds up and could see, the cat had released the rabbit, as they are prone to do, and let him crawl off, waiting to tease and torture the poor animal to death.


The rabbit was obviously severely injured.  He dragged himself away from the cat about ten feet, his hind legs not working at all, until he could go no further.  The cat stayed frozen for a while, and then moved off to the left, waiting on the rabbit to make a move so he could continue his game.  The rabbit sat there for a few minutes, and then, like he was a mechanical rabbit at the dog track, off he went.  At this point he appeared to have suffered no ill effects from the capture, and he easily outran the cat and disappeared into the brush with the cat giving full chase but falling so far behind that he gave up.

Now the question in my mind is, while the bunny was dragging himself along like he was mortally wounded, was he really hurt that bad but underwent a quick and thorough recovery; or was he faking it, hoping to get far enough away from his friendly neighborhood predator that he could make good his escape before the cat could react?


Mouse said...

Yikes, hang in there, wild bunny! I know it's feline instinct, but this kitty is playing, not looking for food. I'm on the lapine's side. Hope he/she made a speedy getaway! =)

Mouse said...

I love observing animal behavior, especially when it's something naturally happening, not in a zoo or an experiment set up by people.

There are those that would argue, that in this particular situation, humans have already interfered by producing the house cat, the whole "is there any such thing as nature at this point". Hm. Loved this post Eeyore, thanks for sharing.

Vivian said...

Perhaps he had a cramp in his leg.

At first I laughed when I saw these photos, till I read your post....thank God it had a happy ending. : )

Rob said...

Perhaps a bit of fakery on the rabbit's part.