I just had to rescue a fledgling bird from my cat. I saw the cat stalking at the edge of the dense lily bed, while two small adult birds chirped loudly nearby, watching her. Suddenly, she leaped into the plants and emerged with a small, gray, fluttering mass in her mouth. The adult birds went crazy. I charged the cat, shouting at her, and she was so startled that she ran, and dropped the little bird. Then there was much confusion, as the small bird tried to fly, but couldn't, and scampered for cover, the cat running after, and me going after the cat, and all the while the adult birds were fluttering and screeching, trying to distract the monsters who were disrupting their lives.
After a couple of minutes, and several near misses, I finally caught the cat before she caught the bird. I carried her into the house (and she absolutely hates being picked up) where she is now, making plaintive mews that are intended to coax me into letting her back out. Not until the birds have bedded down, kitty! I hope the fledgling can make it back into the nest. If it's stuck on the ground all night, well, mine isn't the only cat who prowls around here. Of course, in the wild there would be nobody to protect the bird, or the mice, or other small creatures, from the cats, and if there were, then the cats- at least those who weren't eaten by still larger creatures- would starve. My well-fed kitty is part of a short-circuited corner of nature. She doesn't need an infant avian snack.
By coincidence, Peter Bogdonovich's movie "The Cat's Meow" is on IFC now. I think I'll go watch it. I'll get extra sound effects.