Tag: Pets

The Not-So-Fantastic Fox

“With foxes we must play the fox.”
– Thomas Fuller

Apparently I have pets (namely dogs) and foxes on the brain! 

I had a dream the other night that J. and I had a pet fox named Gordon.  The major drama of the dream was keeping him a secret from our landlords who were snooping around tried to prove his whereabouts.  Gordon was a sleek, sophisticated animal with delightful house manners, directly at odds with what I understand a pet fox to be like. 

See, one of my favorite pre-us-kids tales of my parents is that when they were newly married and at university, they rescued a little fox from a fur farm and brought him home.  Stanley (for that was his name) repaid their generosity by instantly behaving like a demon from the ninth circle of Hell.

Train ME will you?!

He destroyed things.  He ran away multiple times.  He chewed everything.  He was so hyperactive that they eventually tried tying him up while they were at work/school and he tangled himself in the cord to the point that he dislocated a hip (costing a hefty vet fee for starving newlyweds). 

My father thought that foxes were sort of feline so Stanley might be litter-box trained, but that plan backfired.  With a dog you can stick their nose in their mess, put the mess in a litter box with them, etc. and they will eventually connect the dots.  Evil Stanley, however, only learned to infuriate my dad by trotting into whatever room he was in, defecating on the carpet on purpose, and then running to sit in the litter-box with a smug expression as if to say, “What can you do to me?  I’m already here!  Pthfffbbt!”

One day, Stanley ran away (again) and my parents disgustedly got in the car to search for him (again).  After driving for a while, they spotted a furry smudge in the road, a tail fluttering in the traffic wind.  My mother peered at it for a second before throwing her hands triumphantly in the air (which my dad likes to impersonate when telling the story) and crowing, “It’s STANLEY!”

Such is their hatred that years later, when they took me to their old university stomping ground to show my their first house, the church they got married in, and so forth, my mother pointed eagerly to a spot on the road and said, “There!  That’s where we found that miserable fox!  Ha!”

It’s too bad they are such terrors; I think a pet fox would be, well, fantastic!

Puppy Love

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
– Charles M. Schulz

Fig. 1

Watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show has had an unintended effect.  Out of nowhere, J. has told me he likes scruffy-furred dogs with beards (see Fig. 1).  He also showed a distinct fondness for large dogs with dragging jowls.

Fig. 2

On the other hand, I go for the more streamlined and sleek looking dogs (see Fig. 2). 

In fact the only things we can agree on is that we both like border collies, and both are seized with rampant puppy lust.  It’s a good thing we don’t live in a flat that permits animals, otherwise can you imagine the raging fight we’d have?

Editor’s Note: 
Fig. 1 now updated.  The first “scruffy dog” I displayed was insufficiently scruffy, according to J.  This is my point.

Animal Control

“I want a pet!”
“We can’t have one.”
“I know, but can’t we get a fish or something?”
“Why not?!”
Because of the plant by the front door.”
“It was as good as dead when it came to me!”
-C. and J.

A day of freezing rain equals three days of kitties in the Police Department.
A day of freezing rain equals three days of kitties in the Police Department.
This is the season of animal escapades!  The last three days in a row, some well-intentioned student has brought in a kitten to our office.  And the last three days in a row, the sheer cuteness of these critters has ground the entire office to a halt.  Of course…when does a series of isolated events stop being a series of isolated events and start becoming a pattern?  apparently there’s a small…herd?  Pod?  Pride?…of feral cats on campus that all decided to spawn right before the temperature dropped forty degrees overnight.  So these hapless little babies just keep turning up so we now have Animal Services on speed dial and we lose an hour’s worth of work every morning putting them in front of heaters, buying milk to feed them, and cuddling them (risking who knows how many communicable diseases).

The downside is that my puppy-lust has been enflamed and I want a pet even more now! 

Never would think she was an ocelot wannabe, huh?
Never would think she was an ocelot wannabe, huh?
Granted I don’t have the best luck with plants…but I do have a history with feral cats!  When we lived in the Pacific there were hordes of cats in the jungle.  A particularly nasty one that haunted our street had a kitten we decided to rescue from the evil mother.  It took weeks of feeding it in order to trick it inside.  The minute the door closed behind her, she attacked the glass in terror and then hunkered down shivering, her tail the size of a baseball bat.  Twenty minutes later, she decided she was “our housecat” and that was the end of the matter.  And in a continuing Egyptian theme, we named her Nefertiti because of the heavy black marks around her eyes.

Of course, we were all mildly allergic to her (Buddy was catastrophically so) but we refused to get rid of her.  And she repaid our generosity by having kittens under my bed while my parents were out of town. 

You can't handle the cuteness!
You can’t handle the cuteness!

Since scrubbing cat placenta out of my carpet isn’t an expirience I’d like to repeat, I don’t think I’ll want a cat ever again, but I do want a puppy.  A border collie puppy!  Want want!