Cats and Vultures

Call me crazy but prior to finding this insane scene on my roof, it never crossed my mind. I have always assumed that vultures only preyed on dead animals. I thought this was known, and everyone I have talked to since this incident has agreed. That’s what vultures are known for. Right?

When I took my dog out to pee, I wasn’t expecting to see this. I don’t usually look up at the roof while she’s doing her business, but on this day I did. I remember the whiplash double take I did when I realized our cat, Vinny, wasn’t alone on the roof. What the..?

This was one of those “picture or it didn’t happen” moments. No one would believe me if I said my cat was on the roof with 2 vultures! So I took this picture.

I see vultures every single day. Often out in a field or on the side of the road, usually in a group of 4 or more. They’re savages when it comes to roadkill! They are notoriously known for being the “first responders” to roadkill and as far as I’ve ever known, they don’t hunt live food!
The longer I watched the 3 of them up there, the more I questioned the situation. So many thoughts crossing my mind. I was so confused!
Vinny does like to go on the roof, he likes to look in the upstairs windows and will hang out on some lower areas, but this was an awkward spot for him to be.
Where did these massive birds even come from? Why are they on my roof? Is this a thing? Vultures on roofs? I’ve only really seen them on the ground…did something die on my roof?? Why are they just sitting there? Watching Vinny. I’ve never really looked at one this close before. Those beaks, those claws!
Why isn’t Vinny moving? How is he not scared right now?..they’re like 3 times his size, at least. I called his name a few time and tried telling him to come down but he ignored me. He just sat there.

At this point I noticed the vultures slowly inching a little closer to Vinny. What are they doing? Vinny is very much alive and well…They don’t hunt live food…do they???
I started yelling and making noise to get their attention off Vinny and thankfully as soon as they turned their heads, he ran. Once Vinny got in the house, the vultures flew off. Their wing span is massive by the way!
As soon as I got inside, I went straight to Google to look up what I never thought would be a serious question.

“Would a vulture attack my live cat?”

A black vulture sure would!!! I had no idea, but the black vulture is known to attack not just small live animals like rabbits and cats, but also baby livestock! Cows, lambs, goats and such. They can be very aggressive! People who are aware of this, often bring their small children inside when vultures are present!

It is important to know the different types of vultures that are common in your area. To be fair, they’re not all scary! They don’t all prey on live animals. (I guess I was half right with my original assumption).
In Tennessee we have 2 common types of vultures. The black vulture and the turkey vulture. Turkey vultures will only prey on dead animals and they are actually picky eaters. They’re not aggressive and they have more of a chicken foot, their claws aren’t strong enough to hold or carry prey. The black vulture is very aggressive, they aren’t picky eaters, they have large and strong claws and they will attack live prey.

Thankfully Vinny is safe. I believe he knew he was in trouble up there and that’s most likely the reason he remained frozen until they took their attention off of him. Every time I look at this picture I realize just how terrifying it actually is and I’m so grateful for my dog having to pee at the very moment she had to go!

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