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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rabid Fox Encounter

Five or six years ago, my wife took a trip to Thailand along with one of her many close female friends around here.   This lady, K., a transplant here like us, lives in a large, old house that apparently (I have never been there) was built on posts or pillars.   She and her husband enclosed all or at least a large part of that space to create a sort of basement, though there is still a crawl space area, and some space with dirt floors.   K. fixed up one section nice enough to become her darkroom, for she is an accomplished graphic artist, but there are still ways for beasties to come in, for she had already had to use a shovel to kill what she called "a very large snake" that came in for its own darkroom session, some time ago.

This past Monday she was down in her darkroom when she heard noise in another part of the cellar.   Thinking it was her husband she opened the door to see, or either it was already open, and a animal that struck her at first as being a very large rat with long legs and a very pointed nose rushed in and with no provocation attacked her, clawing and biting at her legs.

Being a very active and quick woman, K. used those same limbs to kick back with great vigor at the animal, which turned out to be a gray fox, a species that lives in these parts but is rarely spotted, and in all these 30 years I have seen one only once, in a winter's day when the leaves were down and I could see it through my front windows while it leisurely strolled from left to right across the snow-covered slope, on the other side of the creek.

K. quickly got out of the darkroom and escaped from the fox, running up to a porch and then into the main part of her house.  But the fox stayed right behind her and also entered the house, while still trying to bite and scratch.   But as soon as it came in, the fox became distracted by the sight of a bathroom on the left, and it ran in there.   K. slammed shut the door and then with her usual dispatch called the county authorities and also her husband, who was on the property but not nearby.

The Rescue Squad came quickly enough, but by that time, after trashing the bathroom while trying to get out, the fox had given up and actually, after so much furious action, had decided it was time to take a little nap.

One of the squad members incensed K.  He wanted to open the bathroom door and let the fox out.   He claimed to have experience with getting bears and foxes out of houses, and he said they only came in looking for food.   But, as K. did not think that she should have been mistaken for being fox food, she refused to let him open the bathroom door, and meanwhile the other two squad members saw things more her way.

The county officials that were charged with handling animal affairs arrived, and they awoke the fox, got a noose around his neck, hauled him outside, shot him dead, and then prepared to ship him off to Richmond to be tested for rabies.

Later, at the yoga that she attends with K., my wife learned that the fox was indeed rabid, and K. has already started taking her shots.  She had gotten a small bite and some bruises and claw marks up close to one of her knees, and the shots are given there.  I had always thought that getting rabies shots is a long and very painful process but that in recent years that had been eased somewhat, and K. didn't seem very concerned about it.   But I still don't have all the scoop on that, as my wife is not as persistent as I am about asking all the right questions, even if it does get on people's nerves, especially on hers.

Meanwhile someone has urged K. to report that rescue worker who wanted to let the fox out of the bathroom by luring it with a hot dog, maybe with the thought of trying to trap it later.  But K. hasn't decided yet on that course of action, though she has wondered how he could be part of a rescue team.



Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...


The last time anything was rabid in this area there was a raccoon under a woman's car. Instead of calling someone to help, she took a broom to it. Over and Over. 'Till the poor thing FINALLY attacked her. I thought she deserved the 21 circles of abdominal shots they used to tell us were our punishment for screwing with a rabid animal.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Carl (aka Sofarsogoo) said...


See my Part 2 post, about the rabies shots -- that is, after I get around to wriring it.

11:14 AM  

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