June 13, 2019
The day I have been dreading is here. It is time for the foxes to be relocated into the forest.
For the past two nights, one of the foxes had been “playing” with my neighbors’ hens. Twice they have had the necks of the chickens in their tiny mouths. They were not aggressive as in trying to kill, but they were playing hard. Had my neighbors not intervened, I am not sure what would have become of the chickens, though I am leaning heavily on the mealtime concept. Ugh.
It’s what they do, I know. It is such a happy place here and I am sad that I have to move them into the forest, but it’s time. The plan is to start with Dolly Parton and Jimmy Hendrix, the two alphas responsible for the chicken incidents. Juanita, Huxley and Zeppelin were with me when it happened, so I know it had to be the other two. Dolly and Hendrix often go a day or two without meals from Cafe de Kelly, yet they continue to grow at a faster rate than the three who are addicted to kibble and playing with my cats. Obviously their natural instincts have kicked in and they can feed and care for themselves. Dolly is cuddly when I see her, but Hendrix seems to understand that my species is not fox-friendly. I can pet him, but he bolts when I try to pick him up.
Juanita/Janice Joplin, on the other hand, loves to snuggle and likes to sleep under my bed, especially when I am sleeping, too. Sometimes when I get up in the morning, she crawls out from under the bed, ready for breakfast with the cats. She is not ready to leave the coop.
We hope that by moving Dolly and Jimmy to Harmonia, we can still keep things harmonious with the neighbors, who love the foxes, and their chickens. Sufi, Rumi and Sucio love to play with foxes, too. When the foxes don’t show up at beach time, the cats are constantly on the lookout for them. Huxley and Zeppelin both have healed over scars from something that attacked them almost two months ago. It looks like a bird tried to scoop them up or attack when they were young or a chicken put them in their place. They seem tp have zero interest in birds aside from watching Linda and Scruff chase away the herons and vultures during our morning beach walk.
It has been 4 nights since I last saw all 5 together at the same time. I wanted it to continue. I wanted at least one more morning or dusk at the beach. It is not going to be easy to catch them. The best I can hope for is that next tine they show up for food, I will lock the alphas in the adjacent apartment (windows closed) until I can bring them to Harmonia. The workers are have cleared several acres of weeds in the past few days, so they should be fine. Still, I worry. I am going to try to bring them to the ojo de agua (spring), which is on the side of the mountain two kilometers from the road and the nearest chickens. I would not be surprised if they found their way back, as they will be downwind from the lake and can probably smell me and the dogs.
It has to happen, I just wish it wasn’t so soon.