Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh No! Felicia The Fox Might Be In Danger....

For the past couple of days, there have been repeated reports about how rattlesnakes and foxes are becoming a major nuisance around our city. Huh? We live in the heart of the oldest part of town. My resident fox, Felicia, has always been a true sweetheart and never given us a moment of trouble. Nor have the foxes that came before her. However, these news reports are stating that the foxes are feasting upon cats & small dogs and it's becoming an epidemic of sorts. So far, I've totally ignored these so called reports.


Then, around 9:30 tonight, I was walking by the front door (which is divided glass w/ wood) and Snooty Cat saw something that made her jump. I freaked & went to the door and luckily, it was just my next door neighbor. I went outside & talked with her for about 20 minutes, during which time the subject of the Fox came up. She said her son & a friend had been shooting hoops & noticed the fox on our cinderblock fence watching them, which made her nervous. I tried explaining to her that we've felt that we've lived in harmony with the foxes for many years, but she feels that the drought might have changed the rules with animals. I can sort of see her point and now I'm scared a bit. She was especially worried about her two little doggies that stay outside during the day when she works, which I can understand. They are little Yorkies, which could understandably be tasty little morsels to a larger beast.


Our cat Trouble hasn't had a rabies shot in a few years because now the shot is stronger & it isn't necessary every year. It's like every 3-5 years now. However, now I'm getting paranoid and don't want her going out until I can get her to the veterinarian. Needless to say, Miss Trouble isn't buying into this line of bullshit. When I try to make her stay in she does things like pouncing to the top back of my computer chair (while I'm in it) without prior warning. Talk about freaking me out! Or, she proceeds to leap to the top of the fabric blinds on the door. That's quite a feat, even for a cat. The bitch. Her other favorite ploy is to try and trip me as I go down the hall in the dark... all in an attempt to get me to let her go outside. She could make anyone except Mr. Snooty give in. Seriously. He's much tougher than I.


Anyway, the news reports are saying that Animal Control should be called to have the fox removed. (yeah, right) My neighbor says she called them last weekend and they came to get Felicia while we were gone to the reunion. Apparently, she was up on the fence and the Animal Control officer "shooed" her away. My little neighbor nearly fainted. I almost burst into laughter. I just knew she was going to say they took her away, which would have made me cry. Believe me, those Animal Control guys have been here before and they KNOW they can't catch the fox.

At any rate, they didn't get her and I wasn't here to witness all the drama. Seriously, though, I think they are talking about the foxes coming into town from the country because of the severe drought conditions, just like the rattlesnakes. They'd have to travel quite a long way to get to us from outside of town. Yes, I do realize that they carry rabies, but we've just never had a problem with Felicia. She gets all the water she wants when I water the garden and I constantly throw food out for her in the garden. Not to mention the tomato plants I plant for her.

So, maybe I'm being foolish, but I am not going to worry about her & her pups. She's practically tame, for Heaven's sake. Do any of you have any suggestions? Words of wisdom? Am I being foolish? I mean, I've always pictured myself as being a sort of Snow White type, thinking I can communicate with the animals, but perhaps that's just my Indian blood coming out when it shouldn't. I need some feedback here, folks. Am I an idiot? Or just someone who loves living in harmony with nature?

16 comments:

Daryl said...

You are FAR from being an idiot, you are a caring animal loving person .... I wish I had a good helpful answer but I dont ... I have worried about Felica since you mentioned the next door neighbor's had a playhouse for their kids ...

:-Daryl

Pam said...

I don't think you are an idiot, either. Aren't there some, albeit not necessarily foolproof, outward signs of rabies? I thought any rabid animal would have markedly different behavior from Felicia...such as charging you or the neighbors, being seen closer to the houses, etc. But what do I know, either? I think I might talk to the city about the visible symptoms of rabies, and any possible culpability on your part, although Felicia is a WILD animal who just "STAYS" at your place. Snow White, you are unfortunately on your own here, keep us informed.

brneyedgal967 said...

Oh my word, I do know how you feel here. It is quite the quandry. When a coyote almost killed little Chappy, I immediately wanted them hunted, trapped and removed - dead or alive. What I didn't realize at the time was that the trapper -his traps are not discriminate. He ended up capturing (and killing) raccoons, skunks, foxes and other woodland creatures. He never got any coyote. After a month of trapping, I called him off.

Now I've resigned to realize we live in a wooded area with a creek. I love seeing the deer, the wild turkeys, the hawks, the owls and occasionally the predatory ground animals. I just have to keep an eye on the dogs when they come outside and they do not roam loose unattended. They can't.

Cats are a problem though. As one old guy said, "Hope you don't have a cat." I told him we didn't. He said that was good because they disappear all the time around these parts.

I hope that won't happen to your cat. You're in a more protected neighborhood. I would accompany her outside though... particularly early in the A.M. or at dusk/night. That's usually when they hunt.

Tough situation.

scargosun said...

You are doing the right thing. The media hypes this stuff up and they never do the research. Not all wild animals carry rabies. Foxes also do not kill cats and small dogs. It makes me so mad when the media does this. I am very sad to think of Felicia being caught and moved.

Keeper Of All Things said...

I love animals and a fox how cute. But really would this be hard for you if the problem was rats or say..........the Yorkies? JK yorkie lovers. Can you tell I don't like Yorkies LOL

Holy Crappers said...

I say BEWARE ! It is still a wild animal and will turn on you , no rabie shot will help because they are out to eat, which sadly means kill. I had one a few years back, a whole family of them and did not want them on my property, not like I live in the woods or anything. I love animals also, but do not want wild ones around my home.

#1

noble pig said...

Yikes, I don't have a clue. But she lives in her world and you in yours and you've co-existing for a while now without harm so keep it up!

Iwanttocomeback asmycat said...

Dear Snooty,
I think that you have a heart of gold when it comes to your care for animals. However, and it's a big however, let me warn you how you should not try to tame any animals with food and or water. It is never a good thing for wild animals to become dependent on humans. It encourages their foraging into human habitats.
While you may be enjoying the closeness of the fox, someone else might decide to take action against the animal.
Although it might seem that you can't choose between helping the fox or not, try to remember that the fox's best interests lie in it being able to survive on its own.

Mental P Mama said...

I love Felicia. I hope that the neighbor lady calms down. How can little yorkies be left out all day long in the Texas heat? That was the most alarming thing of all to me!

Keeper Of All Things said...

To mental p mama...........does that make the Yorkies ....wait for it.....HOT DOGS.......LMAO....

herMomsometimes said...

Snooty, how many years has the female fox been having litters of pups near your back yard. Have you or any of your pets had any problems with the fox? Rabies has been in wild animals forever. Unless the health department has issued a warning about an outbreak of rabies I wouldn't worry about it. I would worry more about your neighbor. Let her know the fox will not come near her kids or dogs. It may watch them but it isn't going to eat them. Here is what I found about Red Foxes.

The diet of Red Fox comprise of rodents, a variety of biomes from prairies and scrubland to forests settings, insects, worms, fruits, mice, birds, eggs and all other kinds of small animals. The red fox generally consumes around 1 kg food everyday. Red foxes that live in neighborhoods mainly depend on household waste and even rodents and birds that keep moving around these areas
Your Fox is not going to eat her dogs!

Snooty Primadona said...

Thanks everyone! I will tell you that we've had the fox family on our property for nearly 18 years and although I was worried about the kids outside when they were little, there has never been any contact. Like I've said before, we seem to have found a common place that we can live in harmony.

The funny thing is that once I started working outside again (after the Winter hiatus), the fox has been appropriately absent. Every year, she knows when I start working in the garden and she makes herself scarce, which I consider to be very smart, like a fox, lol.

I think that if she were rabid there would be definitive physical signs. Honestly, I think that if anything is eating people's pets, my bet would be on coyotes and/or rattlesnakes. Foxes like to forage. Rattlesnakes & coyotes don't necessarily like to forage. They go for availablity.

Lord knows we have enough bugs & rodents and pests in this part of town to last a lifetime.

Believe it or not, we still have a large amount of hornytoads (horned toads), which I've always had a deep fascination for.

As for the lady next door... her son just graduated from high school, so I can't picture the fox going after him, lol. I'm thinking she must have meant her dogs and I just didn't recognize the name. I think they leave the dogs outside because they mess all over the house, lol. I mean, why else would you leave a dog outside all day? I don't even want to imagine...

hermom: Thanks! I've done a fair amount of research on them as well and have never discovered anything that really alarmed me, you know? We seem to be at peace with one another, which most people find difficult to believe. But, it's happening right here in West Texas.

Mamahut said...

I'm a day late and a dollar short as usual, but thats ok because I have no idea how to help Felicia. Maybe you could somehow make the neighbor fall in love with Felicia too?

Nap Warden said...

Snooty...What happened to you? I saw that you paid...I'm totally ready to load...Shoot me an email:)

Flea said...

Sounds like you have your head on straight, Snooty. Enjoy your foxy girl. If Animal Control's not worrying, neither should you or your neighbor. Now if Felicia were an opossum ... kill it good.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Taking care of Felicia, does this make you a Foxy Mama? I'd be doing exactly what you are. Throw the neighbor a few scraps too and maybe she'll calm down.

 

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