Thursday, July 10, 2008

Foxy, foxy

I think we have either a family of foxes or a lonely fox looking for love living in the woods nearby. Last night, around midnight, I heard something that sounded like a pug with a chest cold, so I went out to investigate. About a month ago, I saw a reddish flash disappear into our neighbor's yard, and this, coupled with the sounds described above, lead me to believe that yes, we do have foxes living in the neighborhood.
I'm not really bothered by this, mostly because they're not likely to be too pesky. We have an enormous dog who makes a lot of noise, so they probably won't come too close to the house; our indoor/outdoor cat, on the other hand, needs to start staying closer to home, just in case someone's desperate for a meal.
I'm considering calling the local DNR guys again, because someone told me red foxes are endangered in the US. Wikipedia says they're listed as "least concern", so maybe I'll eschew calling DNR, particualrly since I'm not sure that the local guy will react with any more enthusiasm than he did when I asked about turtle conservation. Some conservation officer you are, mister! Maybe he should consider going into a different field. Humph.
Still, I take the appearance of foxes to be a good omen.

6 comments:

theyarnwhisperer said...

I personally have always like foxes..... and turtles. We saw several turtles when we were on vacation.

Rachael said...

Very cool! I've never seen a red fox, but we have gray foxes living around here. We saw one run across the backyard looking for cover in the underbrush during a hurricane several years ago while we were eating dinner. It seemed to dive underneath our next-door neighbor's shed which is on risers about a foot off the ground. And I know I've seen them running in the woods a few times in rural areas while driving.

I too was worried about your cat, but I looked up red foxes and cats and the websites I found say that red foxes rarely attack cats, especially adult cats, or dogs because they prefer pray that aren't likely to make much noise or fight back when attacked. Most of the sites say that unless a fox is rabid or very hungry and unable to get its usual food sources (rodents, rabbits, birds, etc.), it's unlikely to go after a cat, unless perhaps the cat is unusually small for an adult cat or the fox is unusually large, since apparently they usually weigh about the same. So looks like your sweet kitty should probably be okay, though most of these sites do recommend keeping cats indoors as a matter of course to prevent them from coming into contact with wild animals, obviously erring on the side of caution.

La Duchesse said...

I'll be keeping Motzie in during the night.. and I don't give a fig if she poops on the sofa.

Rachael said...

I'm sure she'll get used to being inside at night eventually. I have a friend who had a cat that would do that, so she'd close her off in a bathroom with a litter box at night at first and it seemed to help. Good luck!

La Duchesse said...

She's box-trained, but she's terrified of the Siamese, so when there's a little conflict over who gets to use the box, the Siamese always wins. We've been putting a separate little box for her, but she just cries and cries at the door and demands to go out.
I've been keeping a close eye on her while she's outside, and fortunately she's been staying close to the house.

Rachael said...

Naughty Siamese and poor Motzie! I'm glad she's staying close to the house...