Friday, November 18, 2011

A fox can be a chicken

  Our village has a number of stray cats. Some residents resent their presence but others such as myself feel pity and admiration for these survivor felines who often make it through temperatures reaching minus forty C (or F) in the winter. We put out food and water to help them survive.
   Where the cats come from is a mystery. Some of them may have been here for generations since females regularly have kittens. A few are obviously lost or abandoned. Local rumor is that some folks drop unwanted cats off in the town hoping that they will survive. One can tell the abandoned or lost cats by the fact that they want to make friends with you and come in the porch once the door is opened. The feral cats run off at the sight of a human.
   I feed these cats on our back deck having both a feed bowl and a liquid bowl. On occasion at night I will open the door to put out feed and find the wrong sort of cat, one with a white stripe down its back--a skunk. The cats make way for the skunk, but they move only a short distance off not bothering even to retreat from the deck. Oh sorry! This story is supposed  to be about the fox.
   The other day I looked out our front window and saw a fox on the path shoveled through the snow from the garage. It advanced a little towards the deck. I thought that it would go and explore the food dish. I saw it there once before. But no, he stopped. He then started yelping as if he was frustrated.
  I went in the other room and peaked out on an angle where I could see the deck. There were three stray cats. They were all holding their ground. I have seen a stray dog chase the cats away several times. I have even heard stories of foxes killing cats. But for whatever reason this fox was not about to challenge 12 paws with claws plus 3 sets of sharp teeth. A fox can be chicken. I went out on the deck and shooed him away and off he went just like a chicken.

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