05 May 2006

Marissa-Cat catches a shrew

Marissa-Cat, whose dealings with a chipmunk I storied here, caught a shrew in the backyard today. By the time I got the camera, she had put the shrew down and started playing with it.



The play session lasted a while, probably too long for the hapless shrew, but too short for Marissa-Cat. Finally, the shrew slid under some empty mulch bags and I took the opportunity to grab Marissa-Cat and bring her inside. It was enough excitement for one morning.

I noticed that the shrew had a slight gash on its back (barely visible underneath the grass blade over its back), but it wasn't bleeding and it was still quite active. Hopefully, it will recover.

8 comments:

pascal said...

Looks like a short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda. Cat saliva can cause nasty infections, so I don't know about the shrew's prospects... but they're pretty common.

pascal said...

Another note: shrews are noted molluscivores: coincidence?

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Thanks for the identification. The ones in my backyard must be eating something else unless they like slugs, otherwise they would be starving.

budak said...

shrews are incredibly resilient little beasts. I once saw one crossing a sidewalk, while getting stepped on my several people (emitting horrid screams in the process) but still alive and mobile at the end of it.

pascal said...

A third note: their saliva is mildly toxic - harmful to small invertebrates, but only mildly irritating to some people. :)

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

I didn't know their saliva was toxic. I have been bitten & scratched many times by our cats, but luckily never developed an infection.

pascal said...

Sorry, Shrew saliva has a mild toxin in it. Cat saliva and claws can have infectious bacteria. I've heard apocryphal reports of shrews making caches of snails to eat later.

Katie said...

My cats do the same thing, mercilessly play with their prey.

Interesting tidbit about the shrew saliva toxicity. Did not know that!