Today I was late in getting out to get the mail and it was almost dark. I decided to take my walking stick with me – just in case.
The roads are wet from the downpours today and fog clings to Conifer Mountain to the west mimicking an Olympic Peninsula evening.
As I came down the driveway searching through the mail something caught my eye and it was moving fast. I thought it might be Petticoat, my always-outdoor-loving cat but it wasn’t. It was a scrawny fox hauling ass from behind the woodshed. It changed course and headed right towards me startling the shit out of me. I lunged at me and I swung my stick like a weed whacker. I lunged at me again and I poked at it. It took off when I reached down for rocks that populate the driveway after plowing season. I threw them hard and fox chased after them thinking they were food. Several rocks later and he skedaddled down through the Slightly Unenchanted Forest.
This ticks me off – people that feed wildlife. This is the third time I’ve had this same fox mistake my rocks for goodies.
A local author feeds an entire family of foxes and I met him once at his home and when I opened my car door I was surrounded by 5 or 6 foxes all thinking I had food. It creeped me out.
The lady down the road in the brown house with blue trim fed the foxes until mange wiped out the entire population. They’d lounge in her front yard waiting for the dinner bell and there’d be at last 5 foxes laying about.
I wish people wouldn’t feed them.
I wish my mind didn’t think about things like shotguns to keep the bears out of the house or think about getting a wrist rocket so I can discourage fox visits to my yard. I’m not that kind of person, the kind that looks for ways to hurt people or animals.
I wish my cats weren’t such intrepid explorers with visions of the wild kingdom just beyond the fence.
Several times I’ve had to go outside the fence to rescue foxes from Petticoat and her aggression towards them. She hates the with a passion and I’m sure she sits on the fence waiting for them to come by. I hate the shrieking sound in the middle of the night and worrying if that was the shriek of death or of a sharp claw across a fox’s nose.
I know Skeeter has had a run-in with something wild and it’s left her content to stay (for the most part) in the back yard.
It’s pretty stressful at times because I just don’t see how it can end well.
I miss the days of Jack and Nina and their couch potato lifestyle. Yes, they’d go out but not without supervision. Their adventures were short-lived and they were OK with that.
This coven of cats isn’t content with confines of the back yard. They wander far and wide and this evening included, return home safely.
The vet and I have discussed the pros and cons of outdoor cats. Some cats are simply to wild to tame and they’re not content to decorate the arm chairs and couches of a warm, safe home. They prefer to wander loose, spayed and up to date on shots but still creatures of the night. Short lives versus miserable cats. It’s a heated discussion right up there with politics and religion.
Sometimes I wish for the days of two indoor cats.
Sometimes I wish to live in a neighborhood in the city where there aren’t any foxes, bears or mountain lions.
Sometimes I wish for the past when I wasn’t fearful and filled with trepidation about everything from jobs to friends and of course my outdoor cats.
Sometimes I just take Valium and call it a day.