Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kestrels, cats and caring

photo of a kestrel (sparrow hawk) perched on handler's glove
© harrington
This past Monday evening, I was participating in a board meeting of the local humane society, which, by the way, isn't part of the national humane society. Before the meeting started coming to order, one of the board members arrived with a cat carrier. Inside was a small, somewhat disheveled tabby looking very uncertain as to what might come next. Introductions were made between the tabby and several of the board members. The cat then proceeded to spend the entire meeting curled up in the arms of one of the members (not the same one who arrived with the cat), receiving the kind of strokes many of us would, no doubt, like to get more often. This reminded me of one of the evening presentations at the nature writing conference I attended in last September. It was put on by the Loft Literary Center at Audubon Center of the North Woods. The evening's presentation focused on local raptors and threats to their populations in Minnesota. Seeing a kestrel (above) and a barred owl up close was a rare and exciting experience, kind of like a cat at the board meeting. The audience of 50 or 60 at the conference far outnumbered the board membership of the local humane society. As far as I can tell, I was the only common participant. That makes me think that there are lots of us who are motivated to learn about and protect wildlife, domestic animals, and the environment on which we all depend. My Minnesota cares.