Saturday, July 4, 2009

Learning to Leap, June 6, 2009

Hello Everyone,

I saw three little kits two days ago. The first fox came to the edge of my deck that is only three inches off the ground at one end. It saw a slim blade of grass bent to the side like a high jumper's bar placed barely another 3 inches above the deck. The little fox gathered itself up for a mighty leap and sailed high over the grass blade like a cartoon character with legs stretched fore and aft. The next little fox saw its sibling leap the blade and mimicked it exactly, as if the grass was a huge obstacle. Then came Little Fuzz. She was looking the other way when the others leaped and, stumbling off the edge of the deck, tromped down the grass blade. Little foxes learning to leap! Of course, no camera handy.

I don't see the foxes much. I miss the mornings with mom, chasing one another and gnawing on mom's tail. Such wonderful activity. The little foxes now seem much more serious. Perhaps dad is a no-nonsense kind of guy and does not put up with their shenanigans. He certainly does seem that way. Here is a photo of him coming into the garden while I am outdoors. He growled and barked for some time, until I went back indoors. Satisfied, he vanished though a hole in the shrubbery.

The foxes, or someone else, are slurping up the food I put into several den entries beneath my house. I put food out regularly in case dad is not feeding them. I actually think he is, but just in case. Sometimes the food is gone within a half hour, other times it takes hours. This is good news because it means no one is desperately hungry, or they would be hanging around all day waiting for food. Nonetheless, it is time to give them mice. The mice come in a frozen brick of 50. Icy Micey, as a friend calls them. Some very generous children have donated money from their savings for icy micey for the foxes. I just love knowing children are listening in.

My animal rescue advisor and I will meet in some dark alley in downtown Mendocino for the Icy Micey handover this afternoon.

Mice, with their guts and bones, provide vital nutrients for fox growth. They are also small enough so foxes can exercise and strengthen their jaw muscles. I imagine dead mice are also wonderful toys. A couple of weeks ago, before mom was killed, I saw three pups chasing the one with the gopher.


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