Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fox sightings

When the cats got together for their weekly Cat Club meeting they were all clamoring to speak first, even Peep who normally was quiet and patient during the meetings.  LT had to raise his voice to get any sort of order at all.  “Quiet, all of you!  You sound like a bunch of starlings at sunset.  Remember yourselves.  We are cats – decorous, quiet and mysterious.”  He turned to Snoogums.  “Would you like to start as spokescat for your housemates?”

Snoogums nodded.  “Thank you, LT.  Remember last week when Peep mentioned that she’d seen a fox?  Well, we’ve all seen it now, and it’s got us well spooked.”   Mr. Snuggles, Bunny and Ladybug all started talking again.  “He just disappeared.”  “It’s unnatural.”  “I’m scared.”  

LT put up his paw for silence, and just gave the four the ‘look’.  They settled down.  “Okay, so you’ve seen the fox, and it’s unnerved you.  Well, I’ve seen him too, and I agree that he’s a bit spooky.  Can we each tell what we’ve seen WITHOUT interrupting each other?  Otherwise we may still be here when the sun rises tomorrow morning.”

Snoogums continued his tail, er, tale.  I was out harassing those stupid geese.  I just love teasing them.  They really think I’ll break their necks and eat them.  Well, as I turned to leave I saw a red fox at the edge of the yard, under a bush.  He, or she, not sure which, looked at me, winked and just – vanished.  He didn’t turn and walk away, or even back into the bush.  Poof, he was gone.  I ran over to the bush, but there was no sign a fox had ever been there.”

Bunny was next to Snoogums and she spoke next.  “I was lying in the window enjoying the sun when I saw a fox walk across the driveway.  She turned and saw me and sat down, cocking her head.  Then she said, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t eat all the prey around here.  I can be a responsible fox, and no, I don’t have kits.’  Then she bowed her head, turned and sauntered off into the trees.  How could she know what we’d discussed last week?”

Each of the cats had a similar story, except Fuzzy, who claimed that he’d seen the fox and chased her down.  He said he’d pinned her, and then pulled her tail before letting her go with a warning to stay away from the mice on his property.  Since Fuzzy was known to be somewhat of a braggart, the other cats didn’t take this story too seriously.  

Peep was the last to speak, and she said that she’d awoken from a nap out by Daddy’s burner to find the vixen not two feet from her.  The vixen had identified herself as Inariko and said that she’d been sent to help them, and that they shouldn’t be scared of her.  Peep said the vixen had turned and walked under the burner, but when Peep ran after her, she’d disappeared, and there was no way she could have run to cover that fast.  At first Peep had thought it was a dream, but there was a definite fox odor, so she think it probably did happen.  

The cats sat there looking at each other.  A fox sent to help them?  By whom, and help them with what?  They did just fine on their own.  LT asked all the cats to keep him apprised of fox sightings, and moved on to an analysis of the bee and wasp population in the area.  

When the cats finished their meeting LT offered to walk Greymalkin home.  It didn’t seem like a good idea to have her all alone in the woods with a fox of unknown motives in the area.  Fuzzy stalked off on his own, muttering about no one believing him.

As Fuzzy reached the trees that separated the two properties the cats saw a fox jump out of the tree line and tackle Fuzzy.  He was thrown to the ground, and the fox then pulled his tail.  “I wouldn’t tell tales of how you bested me, cat.  I am a fox and as such I am faster and smarter than you are.  Run home, little kitty.”  The vixen released Fuzzy, who bolted for home and then turned to the other cats, bowed and walked slowly off into the trees as the cats looked on, mouths agape.  

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