I saw a fox in the front yard. So lush and sure, she made me feel immediately out of place in her company. Suddenly, this was her territory. She did not run or shy from me. She moved with the confident grace of a wild creature, and I felt privileged to catch those few moments with her.
But we have cats.
They are enclosed in a space where the fox should not be able to enter. I use “enclosed” loosely as Cosmo does not recognize boundaries. No roof is too high, no fence too solid, no tree too tall, no squirrel too fast. Joseph and I have both done frequent perimeter checks and we don’t think that fox is hanging around. It gives us some comfort to know that Cosmo is alert and runs from surprises. The hair dryer, a suddenly rustling bag, a deer on the horizon — all keep him wide-eyed and tip-toed and distant from danger perceived. Still — we worry. We step outside every so often and call for Cosmo who obediently (read: hungrily) bounds up from the irrigation ditch, or over the north fence at the sound of our voices.
I am glad the fox is not an ongoing threat here. Yet… I recall her wild vulpine breath in the cold winter air, not six feet away. I gasped and held for some time before she disappeared in the brush.