Sunday, March 27, 2011

Someone Needs to Get a Hobby

I'm bored, like way bored.  So bored I need something demanding to occupy my time and give me focus.  So bored I'm considering that we need to add a new member to the family.  So bored that I'm longing for the pitter patter of little feet in the house.  So maybe a Norwich terrier or poodle?

I've recently decided to adopt the local fox we see slinking around our house.  I don't think the fox realizes this since it's not really cooperating.  It has been looking a bit thin lately and we don't cotton to skinny critters in our family.  I come from a long line of folks that love their pets to death with food.  Some people are more guilty of this than others, right mother?  Vienna sausage, cheese and wieners are really not appropriate snacks for a dog unless you're trying to get a pill down them.  Honestly, that lady at the Wal-Mart checkout always gives you the eye because she thinks you're eating those 15 cans of vienna sausage.  

With this ideology firmly planted in my brain, I've taken to putting out food for the fox every night.  For 26 pence, I get the least expensive container of store brand dog food.  It sounds fancy schmancy, like something you might find in a French restaurant - terrine of lamb in sauce.  It reminds me of the Alpo we fed our old basset hound named Jezebel when I was a kid.  I'm sure it contains only the finest local horse meat.  The youngest daughter helps me put it out every evening on the back patio and gags when she opens it.  It's pretty vile smelling, so I figure it draws the fox in like a magnet.  I bet it's not so removed from it's domesticated doggy cousins.  Our miscellaneous dogs from years past were always drawn to the fishy smell of cat food and have even been known to snarfle through the litter box for a little snack - ick!  And there's nothing better than something stinky and disgusting in the road that has been squished and thus requires a good roll.

Since moving to the UK, we've always had this fox nosing around the front drive and back patio.  This happens in the evenings and is always easy to spot because it triggers the motion activated lights.  Now that we're putting out the tasty terrine on a nightly basis, the fox waits until we go to bed to retrieve the food.  Its MO is to wait until the house gets quiet for the evening, then come up onto the back patio and carry the food farther away from the house to eat.  One evening I was up later than everyone else, reading a book, and saw the back lights turn on.  I tiptoed over to the window, darn those squeaking floorboards, to see the fox carrying the little tin of terrine out into the middle of the backyard where it proceeded to eat it.  

This really is the perfect sort of pet ownership.  I don't have to worry about it shedding fur all over my house.  It doesn't have any accidents on the carpeted floors.  The furniture doesn't get torn up or smell because it has decided the leather sofa is much more comfortable than the floor.  It's not necessary to have a wrestling match in order to trim its nails.  Then there's the whole rodeo involved in taking it to the vet, getting it into a carrier and then having it hike its leg on the reception desk when you're checking in to board it for a week while you go on vacation.  You've gotta be prepared to get a second mortgage on your house to finance a stay at the local pet resort.

I know I should be satisfied with this little arrangement.  Be careful what you wish for and all that jazz.  Hey - maybe the fox is a she and will have some baby foxes this spring.  I can up my investment to the 59 pence tin of terrine and feed the whole family.  

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