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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Three Cats and a Fox

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Donna at Funky Junk Interiors
lost her precious kitty, Teddy, and
has dedicated this week's linky party in her memory
by having pets as the theme.

So, here is a little story about
Three Cats and a Fox
that live at my house in the country.

Like many people, I never intended to have a pet;
the pet adopted me and made me her person.

Calliope is her name in this life with me, and we call her Callie.
Here she is the first week she came to live with me.

The winter of 2010-2011 was especially bitter with record snowfalls
for north Texas.  One night when there was snow on the ground
and the temperature was forecast to plunge to 19 (F),
there sat this pitiful cat huddled on the top step just
outside the french doors.  She was looking in at us with those
sad eyes begging for a warm place to stay for the night.

In she a dry, warm living room.
 Out we went...into the black night with howling winds and snow, 
bundled in warm coats, gloves, and hats...
to buy cat food and cat litter.

Over the next 3-4 days, I put her out in the morning
thinking she would go home.
Surely she had a home.
Each evening at dusk, there she sat on the deck looking in.

She won over our hearts as we realized she had no home.
I became her person.

Over the next few weeks she gained weight.
Naively, I thought it was because she was getting regular meals.
You know the real reason...pregnant!

Here is the sweet little mother with her 
five brand new kittens on the day they were born.
Three sweet little kittens found new homes rather quickly,
but two little ones never did find a new home.

First, no cat; then one cat; now three cats.

Indiana is an adventuresome male.

Gracie is a shy, scaredy-cat female who loves to cuddle with me, but no one else.

One lazy, nothing-to-do day last summer, the cats were lounging outside.
Indiana slinking through the grass, stalking grasshoppers, lizards, and Gracie.

Callie was snuggled on the chair on the south deck.

Along came a newcomer, a FOX!

Around the corner and onto the deck on the east side...

The fox, standing on its hind legs, peered into the living room 
through the french doors.
Oh, my! What a brazen fox.  Shouldn't it be running away?

A baby of three babies under the east deck... 
That's why this fox was so brazen.  She was protecting her litter.

Indiana's interest was piqued.  He saw the fox.

Gracie stood up, gazed in a frozen stance so much like big cats in the wild.
Indiana went to investigate.

Callie had moved to the Adirondack chair for a closer look.
But now... she was staring up at the big tree.  Why?

Indiana got too close to the momma fox and baby fox.
Momma fox chased Indiana and he ran for dear life...

Up the closest tree...with momma fox climbing up also,
until Indiana was too far away for her to reach.  Indiana kept climbing
and jumped onto the top of the house from a tree limb.
He sat on the very top peak (30 feet high) for hours.

After searching all along the roof edges for a way down,
he finally jumped to the lower roof of the breezeway, then
jumped down to the ground.

Last summer the three baby foxes grew up and moved on.
But this week, a fox was in the flowerbeds on the hillside above the house.
Is it the momma fox, one of the baby foxes, or a new fox in the neighborhood?

So far, no chasing Indiana up a tree.

Callie is content showing up in photos intended for the blog.

But...Indiana is another story...

He knows how to open doors with lever handles.
We have to keep the deadbolts turned on to keep Mr. Smarty Cat (Pants)
from "breaking out" the other cats.

Indiana's whole name is
Indiana Jones
because he was the most adventuresome of the five kittens.
The first one to climb out of the box, the first to jump onto the
washing machine, the first to venture into another room, ...
Little did I know when I named him how
prophetic his name would be! 

I contacted the Texas Department of Wildlife about the wild foxes under my deck.
Since foxes are a protected species in Texas, I was advised to leave 
them alone and let them stay until they moved on.
I know... foxes carry rabies...
I kept the cats in the house until the fox babies grew up and left.

Please join me at these inspiring linky parties ....