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     Wild Horse Spirit Ltd. 

Kitty survived mountain lion attack

"Kitty" -alone, weak, malnourished and injured is stalked by three coyotes after she survived a mountain lion attack about two weeks earlier.


"Kitty"

 


She Came Down The Mountain For Help

 

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She came down the mountain for help.  Early Saturday, before sunrise, on October 18, 1997, Betty from Wild Horse Spirit was checking for any signs of free-roaming wild horses in an area of northern Nevada.  She sighted a horse in the distance.  Using binoculars, she saw a lone young horse who appeared injured, sick and weak.  She was moving slowly having difficulty raising and lowering her head to graze on the mountainside.  Suddenly, three coyotes were seen circling her, apparently waiting for the opportune time to finish the young horse off.  Betty knew it was urgent that the horse get help if she was to survive. 

 Immediately, Bobbi was called at Wild Horse Spirit.  Bobbi and Shirley, a volunteer, came immediately.  While Betty went for panels, Bobbi and Shirley began slowly and patiently luring the horse down the mountain with hay to a safe place.  Corral panels were set up to “trap” her so her condition could be assessed.  Shocky, hungry and underweight, the filly could not have been more pleased with smell of hay and willing and quietly walked into the small corral where hay and water was provided for her.

The vet came on site and agreed the young filly needed veterinarian care and obvious protection from the coyotes.  Steve, a trainer who helped Wild Horse Spirit gentle many wild horses, and his wife, Terri who is an animal psychic, was called.  Steve offered to load and trailer the filly to the vet hospital. 

Waiting for the trailer to arrive, Betty quietly laid down beside the corral.  The filly, feeling safe, slowly moved near Betty munching intermittently on hay in spite of her obvious discomfort lowering and raising her head.  Drainage could be seen coming from underneath her thick black mane.

When the trailer arrived, the filly was gently and patiently loaded into the trailer.  Terri said the filly told her, “She just did not want to be rushed, but knew she would get help”.  We drove her to the vet hospital.

Once she was tranquilized, the vet was able to assess her injuries.  Surprisingly,  mountain lion bites were found over the back of her neck.  Her right ear was mangled.  Scratches, covered by her winter coat, were seen down her back.  Miraculously, she had survived such an attack!  She would not have survived another couple of days in the wild.  

Her neck wounds were filled with maggots, nature’s way to debride and control deeper tissue destruction caused by severe infection. The size of the maggots indicated the attack occurred about 10 days to two weeks earlier.  Because she had difficulty raising and lowering her head to graze, she had lost a lot of weight. 

The filly spent a week at the vet hospital before coming home to Wild Horse Spirit for continued treatment and a “little groceries”, as the vet said. Her mane, where it had been shaved to treat her wounds, grew back.  At one point, she looked as though she had a Mohawk haircut.

Over the next three years, “KITTY” grew into a beautiful Virginia Range wild horse mare.  Her wounds healed, but when we petted her neck, scars, now covered with hair, reminded us that she indeed was lucky "Spirit" to escape and survive the mountain lion attack.  She was guided to come down the mountain for help to the right place and time for Betty to spot her.  Her name came not from the mountain lion, but from Miss Kitty (Amanda) of the old “Gunsmoke” TV series who, like Kitty the wild horse, was a true survivor, too. 

  Bobbi and Betty kept feeling there would be a special adopter for Kitty.  But it was meant that she remain with her wild horse friends as one of the official greeters at Wild Horse Spirit.  One special visitor was Mark’s Dad who was terminally ill.  Mark would park along the arena so his father could watch the wild ones who he enjoyed so much, but Kitty was his favorite.  Spiritually and ironically, Kitty had already found her special adopter!   


     
Pegasus Took Kitty Upon His Wings 

       On November 25, 2000, Betty drove home from University of California, Davis, with an empty trailer - something that every horse lover hopes never happens.  Kitty suddenly became ill.  Her stoic wild horse nature hid her severe discomfort.  Veterinarians were humbled by her willingness to do everything she was asked.  Kitty, as in 1997, knew they were trying to help her.  When she did not improve in spite of extensive medical care at a local vet hospital, Betty took Kitty to UCD for exploratory surgery.  Nothing could be done for her.  
     Late evening on November 24, 2000, while lying asleep on the surgery table, Pegasus flew above Kitty, and then tenderly took her upon his wings to a safe and wonderful place to join other wild horses.  A lock of Kitty’s beautiful long black and shinny mane that had been carefully braided before surgery was brought to Betty.   
    That evening under the stars, Bobbi told Kitty’s wild horse friends that she was now with Pegasus. They all stood close.  Charlie Wild Horse put his head on Bobbi’s shoulder.  The next day Betty brought Kitty’s lock of mane home to Wild Horse Spirit.  Kitty’s memories will live on with us and one day we will all be together again.  For a while, kicks on a metal stall could be heard, but there was no one there. 
     Kitty was an incredible special and brave wild horse throughout her challenges.  She did everything that she was asked to do.  Mark's "Dad", before he passed over, always enjoyed sitting in his vehicle next to the arena, watching Kitty, his favorite.  Just maybe Mark's "Dad" was there to meet Kitty when she passed over "The Rainbow Bridge".  Her wild horse friends and we miss her so very much.  Thank you, Kitty, for all your love.  


                                                                   


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Wild Horse Spirit Ltd.
25 Lewers Creek Road
Carson City, NV 89704
Telephone (775) 883-5488
FAX (775) 884-2333
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