Yesterday evening while prowling around on deck, Momo saw the most delicious looking yellow warbler. He gets total tunnel vision when he sees a bird…he pounced at her, not realizing that this was a really bad idea. As the poor little bird slipped through his front paws, gravity began to kick in.
He plummeted downward, bouncing off the side of the dock and into the nasty, opaque, muddy marina water. Panic set in and he began screeching and screaming like a baby. He paddled frantically, desperately trying to find a way out of the water. First he tried the swim ladder, which is how he managed to climb back aboard the first time he fell overboard. It was too hard for him to grab on because it was too close to the dock. There was no obvious way out. He ended up under the wooden planks of the dock.
Skeeter called for him, trying to coax him out from under the dock so he could reach him and pluck him out of the water. I ran out as soon as I realized what was going on and grabbed a towel to drape into the water, hoping he’d grab onto it with his claws so I could pull him out. The poor little guy was getting exhausted and starting to choke on water. He was in pure panic by this time. I laid down on the dock and could almost reach him. He nipped at me because he was terrified. Then he clawed at the wooden post on the dock to try to climb out, and then tried to climb onto our neighbor’s dinghy. Finally Skeeter managed to pluck him out of the water.
The poor little guy was shaking and terrified. I wrapped the towel around him to dry him off and comfort him. Then we decided that he needed to be washed off because the water here is toxic and nasty. So Skeeter gave him a hose bath and shampooed him in the cockpit of our boat, and then we took him inside to dry him off and calm him down. We noticed that he was bleeding. He practically tore off his thumbnail claws in his frantic attempts to get out of the water. We cleaned up his wounds and he helped too by licking them.
We hope he learned his lesson…not to chase after birds. But he probably didn’t. I guess maybe the lesson was for us to learn. He needs closer supervision while outside, and we should make something for him to climb that hangs down near the waterline. What would have happened if we didn’t realize that he fell in soon enough!? What a close call! Quite a scare for Momo and for us!