Sunday, April 3, 2011
Predators live among us; they can be as deceiving as a neighbors dog, a cat, or they can be as obvious as coyote or a fox. Predators eat small mammals and birds. If they don't eat critters everyday, they starve. They are also very indiscriminate as to what they eat; Fluffy and Fido are no exception.
I loath having a predator eat my animals. Describing this blatantly and ruthlessly, makes a good argument to be a vegetarian. But I am a carnivore. To justify a farm with domestic animals was explained that if no one ate meat, all domestic animals would become extinct. So there is a purpose for me to raise my own meat. And I will do everything in my power to protect my animals from predators.
Yesterday, I tried to smoke a fox out of his hole-sitting there waiting for him to jump out, ready to shoot him with my shot gun. I waged a war with this creature because he ate one rooster and my beloved cat. A cat I had for 3 years; wise enough to never get hit by a car and hardy enough to live outside in the barn. I was infuriated to find him dead outside the fox hole.
My blood boiled as I lit the newspapers on fire and threw them down the fox hole. Waiting for him to come out, I stared at the hole. But to my surprise, the rotten round bale next to the fox hole, started to go up in flames. I thought it was soaking wet? Well, then it went from the round bale to the dry grass...Suddenly, this was getting out of hand! So I drove to my neighbors house and frantically said, "Call the fire department now!" My neighbor, Nancy, is a Methodist minister, she told her son to call the fire department, and we both headed back to the flames. She was alarmed, but as soon as we heard the fire whistle blowing throughout the countryside, we sighed relief-help was on the way. We watched as the blaze approached her house with whirling smoke. "The fox, is probably up on the hill laughing at us" I joked.
The fire department arrived as an army of men with shovels and water hoses to the rescue. When the fire was extinguished, everybody stood around the fox hole with my dead cat still visible. Nancy, the minister, suggested we bury him and give him a eulogy, I agreed. Nice to have a minster as a neighbor. There was closure. And no hard feelings at my foolish pyrotechnics.
As for the fox, I am patrolling the perimeter as if they are enemy lines, putting pressure on him enough to ward him away. Mr. fox will have to always keep a look out for the human-sorry to say.