Sunday, March 6, 2011

Homey the Autocrat

Many a stray animal has sought refuge at our home and while some are simply passing through, others tend to stay for a while.  The latest addition to the clan is Bella, the lab that nobody noticed was pregnant until suddenly there were eight dogs in her house instead of one.  We have taken in flying squirrels, tail-less lizards, baby deer and a chicken that fell off a Tyson truck on its way to certain demise.  My daughter claims each and every one of these pets, immediately names them and picks the smallest, weakest one to begin dressing it in tiny pet clothes much against its silent protests.  My son makes it quite clear from the onset that none of them, but one, is his.  He lays claim to a temperamental Siamese cat named Homey.  Homey is a self proclaimed autocratic leader of all the animals in this little Kingdom.  He has no use for the sick, lame or lazy and will run them off when nobody is looking.  Thank goodness my daughter is two steps ahead of him, nursing the ill in private hideaway places out of sight from Homey and his unfair practices.   Our guest bathroom has seen its share of injured woodland critters. 

Homey spends his days roaming the woods and stalking the neighbors.  It is nothing to see him bolting across the neighbors yard, four or five houses away (That’s four or five towns away in people distance).  I catch glimpses of him racing from the woods or jumping from the roof. He will dart in front of my car at precariously unsafe distances and he always comes out unscathed.  I have great respect for Homey and his survival skills.  While I don’t have an ex-husband, I think that Homey is much like one would be. He’s always out there, somewhere in my peripheral vision, just out of clear focus, having fun, chasing she-cats and enjoying life.  He is smart enough to know when a storm is coming and always makes it home just in time, to shoot through the back door, completely unnoticed, and bed down in my freshly washed linen or lay backwards on my couch.  He is quiet, sneaky, bold and self-sufficient, yet still has an attachment to us that will never end.  He is one of those guys that you will always love, even thought you know they are absolutely up to no good.   For a short period, we hosted a family of chickens that lived behind the pool near the wood-line.  Homey’s mouth watered for just one big tasty chicken and he would lounge on the roof of the chicken coup mapping out a plan of how this might come to be.   His tail moved back and forth in this rhythmic pattern of anticipated satisfaction while droplets of cat drool fell from the roof onto a few nervous hens.  Unfortunately,  someone or something beat Homey to his Chicken delight meal and one morning we woke to find the chickens were all gone.  This was, oddly, just about the same time, we discovered a den of red fox living even further back in the woods.  I don’t know if Homey felt he had been robbed or if it was just his natural curiosity, but he went to meet the fox family.  This was not one of his wiser choices.  I was lounging in my hot-tub that particular afternoon, enjoying the peacefulness of the day, when Homey came bolting from the woods like a streak of lightning.  Right behind him was a red fox with the same chicken-eyed look that Homey had recently had.  Homey flew over the top of the tub and while certain that I was about to be bathing with the fox, he stopped short, turned and ran back to the woods.   It only took a few days before Homey came limping home with a giant red fox bite out of his leg.  My daughter immediately scooped him up and planted him on a bed of clean towels in our guest bathroom to begin his recovery process.   A few weeks passed and he was soon good as new.   He currently spends his days lounging on the lid of the hot-tub, soaking up the heat and moisture to continue his healing.    I can only imagine that late at night, when all is dark and still, there is a tension out there behind my house as a family of fox are keenly aware of Homey, seven puppies hunker down in a bed of hay unaware, two white shephards patrol the property eating shoes left outside and one mean cat sits on the roof swooping his tail back and forth just waiting for one wrong move and an opportunity to exert his complete power over them all.  

Homey in his early days learning of the world....

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