So the porch cat we adopted, Jupiter, has a little problem … he’s a killer. An accomplished hunter, indeed. He lived by these skills for the three years before we began caring for him and he’s kept those skills sharp ever since. He’s as sweet as he can be to all of us but behind that fuzzy face is an expert hunter. We’ve found all manner of mice, moles, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and lizards who have met their master at the deadly claws of Jupiter. Our yard becomes littered with a dead body of some variety about once every three weeks, it seems.
Last night I was preparing to view the International Space Station, gathering my camera when I heard an eerie wail coming from the front yard. I knew it was a battle of some sort so I leapt up and raced out the door.
That Jupiter had his claws in some poor critter I had no doubt, but what I saw was totally unexpected. Jupiter came trotting happily up to me from a dark figure in the neighbor’s driveway. It was too big for a possum, too small for a dog, exactly. It had a deerish shape but was way too short. I could make out large pointed ears and a bushy tail as it slunk its way back into the woods.
It was a fox. Our mangy porch cat picked a fight with a critter four times his size. Apparently he was winning, too! My walking out interrupted the fight, instantly switching my murderous beast into a sweetly purring kitty again. I can only imagine how I would’ve reacted had I discovered a dead fox in my front flowerbed.
I can’t say I approve of his instinctive need to kill, but I can’t really blame him. He wouldn’t have made it on his own otherwise. If we can’t teach him to play nice, though, perhaps adding a collar with a bell will give his prey fair warning and restrict the bloody dustups to the realm of kitty dreams. I’ll keep you posted.