Since returning from Italy, I was sure that Felicia The Fox had taken up residence on our roof. You know. In case there were more flooding rains to come. As it turns out, sadly, Felicia is no longer with us and we have no earthly way of knowing what sort of fate she met up with. However, her baby girl from this past year is now our new (non-paying) tenant. The differences between them being immense, she's quite the shy little thing and tries to run and hide when she sees us. I suppose Felicia became far too familiar with us for her own good, but she did teach her baby girl that this was the place to stay for safety and I'm so thankful.
Baby Girl Fox was up on the roof today but we already knew she'd been around because every time Mr. Snoots kills a squirrel he heaves it over the fence to the garden, where she never fails to find them.
Some interesting facts about foxes:
1. Foxes are of the canidae species (carnivorous mammals commonly known as canines) and are the only ones who can climb trees.
2. They actually have terrible eyesight which forces their other senses to be highly efficient. If you stand still in their presence, they will not really be able to determine that you're even there.
3. Contrary to beliefs, they seldom (if ever) attack household pets like cats and dogs. Too noisy for them.
4. Gray foxes mostly prey on squirrels, mice, rats, lizards, rabbits, birds, and insects, of which are plentiful in these parts.
5. Foxes also like to feast upon tomatoes, berries, and vegetable material.
6. Foxes are known to have a wide range of vocalizations and pitch tones to communicate with one other.
7. Foxes are monogamous unless a partner dies, then they will often mate with one of the older off-spring. Hey - they ARE animals, right?
Of course, there are many more facts about gray foxes, but I decided to just hit the most important points this time. I'd venture to say that most people don't have a clue as to most of these facts, but it's important to know that they seldom ever attack household pets and they NEVER attack humans unless they are rabid, in which case you should kill them immediately, with whatever means possible. You must do this to put them out of their misery as well as to protect yourselves. If they aren't rabid then they honestly present no threat at all to humans but they do keep the varmints near you, trimmed back. It's nature's way, my friends.
We were once dove hunting with friends on their 160 section (which basically equals 6,400 acres of land) ranch in south Texas and came across a little fox that was weaving and acting strangely, in general, so the menfolk took the initiative and put it out of its misery. As sad as it seemed, we all knew that it was necessary in order to protect the other animals on their vast property. Rabies can spread quickly if not kept in check, which is why they and their hired help made daily ventures into the wilds of their land. It's the only responsible thing to do.
Here on our property, we do our best to protect the foxes but Baby Girl is so shy, it might take some time before she trusts us. Although, she has *been around* all winter. She seems to prefer her view from the roof, which is alright by me....