Saturday, April 30

Introducing Valentina 'Valla' the corsac fox

"Valentina is the daughter of Count Pencherchevsky. She is married, but childless, so Pencherchevsky decides to recruit Flashy to help the process along (to which Flashy refers to himself as "Flashman Buttercup the Twenty-first of Horny Bottom Farm"). When Flashman and Scud East try to make their escape from Starotorsk and the cossacks are gaining on them, Flashman tosses the helpless Valla out of the sleigh!"

On April 28th a ball of fur joined the Flashman house hold, her name is Valentina or 'Valla' the corsac fox and she is 4 weeks of age.

She like the other three is named after a character from the Flashman books, the quote at the top of the page tells you a little about the character. We thought as the character was in a book which actually had the Cossacks the name would fit quite well.

It is very interesting to actually see a corsac kit eat, drink, play and even learn how to talk.

When Valla first came home she was in a bit of a mood. She had been taken from her home, put into a box of straw which smelt of her family and taken on a long car trip with humans she had never met before so I cannot blame her. When we got home I left her alone for a while so she could get to know the sights and smells of the house. I meanwhile went to make her a bottle of milk.
Upon my return she repeatedly lunged at me in attempts to bite me and then she did a warning call. I replied with the noise that Harry and Elspeth make to greet me and that second she stopped lunging at me. I found this to be quite amazing, I really did not think I would be able to fool her but it seems this simple sound put her mind at rest. Even though I am very big and ugly for a corsac I speak the right language so I must be okay it would seem. She then happily drank her bottle but when she had enough she decided to chew it, I saw that her little teeth were coming through and so she must be teething. It was quite funny to watch as she would often bite down and then shake the bottle as though she was killing it.

Later the same evening Inari, our male fennec fox was doing his mating call when he ventured into my room from his, Valla decided to give the noise he was making a try and I caught it on film, Valla making the fennec fox mating call! Inari was so confused when he jumped onto my bed to see that a tiny, grey, fuzzy thing had answered him and so he went back to his room, I would assume to report to Kitsune.

Apart from learning how to call a mate in fennec language she has been like your average baby enjoying eating, playing, cuddling and sleeping. She has not yet met Harry, Elspeth and Rudi as I have no idea how they will feel about her. I will probably let them meet her when she is a little bigger and steady on her feet.

Valla's oddest habit thus far is sleeping around my neck. I wonder if the people who like/likes to wear fox furs around their neck ever though of just training a fox to sleep there. I mean Valla will happily stay there for hours and lick my cheek when she wants her bottle so I am sure that is enough time to look very stylish at a cocktail party hehe!

Wednesday, April 20

Strawberrys with a dusting of salt and pepper

Last night when I went upstairs to watch North and South ( with my better half and the foxies I took some strawberries with me. Rudi kept sniffing in my direction when I was eating them and so I decided to let him have one which he ate amazingly fast so I gave him a second which was also eaten at amazing speed so I decided to give him a third once I had retrieved my trusty video camera from my bag. Sadly I think by this point he was about full of strawberries but he did play around with it a bit and have a bit of a chew:

Today my better half surprised me with a set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of two red foxes. They are TINY and oh so cute! I do not think I will use them as they were intended to be used but instead put them in a cabinet to look cute always.

Tuesday, April 19

£88.35 later


Went to the pet store today as I needed more kibble for the critters. I always buy in bulk as it just makes life easier and when things are on offer it would just be silly no to. So anyway, I spent £88.35 and got enough kibble for the fennecs and Corsacs for about two months yay!  Tomorrow I shall be making the fresh food for the foxies which requires a trip tp Tesco which I totally hate as it is SO damn busy!!

So this is what £88.35 looks like in kibble:
Okay okay I also got 8 tubs of morio worms and 5 of those giant crickets that Inari and Kitsune like but the bulk of cash was on the kibble.
The chihuahua and kitten kibble are for the fennecs (to be fair the kitten is also for the African Pygmy dormice). They like that to nibble on. They have the puppy/kitten instead of the dog/cat kibble as the pieces are smaller and thus easier for them to eat. It is also higher in fat which seems to help as it is pretty hard to keep weight on a fennec as they are on the go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We use Royal canin as even the dog food has taurine which is a must for all foxies. They have the puppy mixed with the kitten as they just like both, damn picky eaters! This is just something they nibble on, their meals consist of other foods including the raw diet I feed the Corsacs (Just allot less of it).

The miniature schnauzer is for the corsacs. They, like the fennecs have kibble to nibble on during the day and once more this contains taurine. Rudi LOVES it where the other two would happily just nibble on it before dinner. I have been gaining Rudi's trust by hand feeding him this kibble piece by piece.

Harry is still in the lead shedding wise with Elspeth coming in second, Rudi is catching up on her though slowly but surely. I cannot go near even one of them without getting covered in fur. I sweep all rooms that they frequent twice a day and yet somehow in-between my sweeping they manage to fill rooms with their fur. Their kitty tower is currently not being used for scratching but instead they seem to mostly be using it to rub against to get their loose fur off, the boys that is, Elspeth has her two loyal man servants to groom her which is quite funny to watch. She thinks nothing of waking them and making them groom her. Her favourite for this is Harry.

It is strange how as the weather warms up the corsacs get more sleepy and yet the fennecs become even MORE active! I did not think they could be any more active but it seems they can, I shall have to take some more photos of them soon. For now here are my sleepy guys.
Harry yawns
Rudi yawns
Harry yawns again!

Harry defending Elspeth's Honour as Rudi was rude enough to sniff her tail! Oh my!
Elspeth shows Rudi how horrid it is to have a cold nose shoved up your behind. Look at that face hehe!
Rudi hides from Elspeth's nose.

Rudi looking totally huggable.
Elspeth also looking huggable, difference is I can hug her.

She is still pretty fluffy for this time of year. . .
And grumpy because of it.
Happy Elspeth!
Rudi looking cute again. The poor pillow is covered in his fur!

Good night!

Monday, April 11

Damn decorators!

At home we are getting some work done on the house and one of the rooms needing TLC is Harry, Elspeth and Rudi's bedroom. No it is not as the foxes have done anything to it, we just live in a old house so it needed a face lift.

I had thought the foxes must hate mirrors at they are always making a mess of the closet I have in there but it seems that decorators hate them about as much so in the following photos I am very sorry for the state of the mirror, for once it was not the foxes but a bunch of middle aged men! (They seem to be doing an okay job so I shall not complain too much.)

I think more or less all these photos are of Rudi!
This is how Rudi sits, with his bad leg across him, his paw facing up.
He also has elliptical pupils which is odd as all corsacs are meant to have round ones and be the only species of fox to have round pupils.

You can see above how his leg does not look quite right against his body.

Rudi left, Harry right. Do not worry they are not going to hurt each other, they are however arguing over the fair lady Elspeth.
You can see how Harry is almost fully in his summer coat where Rudi has not even begun to shed.

Elspeth top Harry bottom. You see the chunks of fur? Well thats some of Harry's winter coat and that much just came off from him brushing up against it!

Rudi on their kitty tower.
Rudi top Harry bottom. 'What's that?!'

Saturday, April 9

Random catch- up

                                                        (Rudi left, Harry right)

The day after my last post I called another vet who said about the same as the one who Rudi went to see. He advised that it might be best to get the leg removed now other then later though, I also showed the x-ray and video to a friend who is a orthopaedic surgeon and he said it would probably be best to remove the leg. The joint can't properly support much weight but he only pulls his leg up quickly now and then so does not look to be causing him undue distress. That leaves me with the options of leave it, remove it, or a long painful surgery that would just make his leg look better and seeing as neither Harry nor Elspeth seem to mind his leg how it is, as in they are not alienating him I do not see the point in the last option.
(Rudi. Must ask my friend who we are staying with why he has what looks like bubble gum on his wall lol!)
After thinking long and hard about it I have decided that he will be keeping his leg, for now. I mean it is not getting in his way, it is not causing the other two to look at him strangely even though they are aware there is something'wrong' with it and it does not seem to be causing him distress. The only problems Rudi has with it being the way it is as opposed to him not having it at all he will still have if he just has a stump. For example he cannot climb as well as the other two, nor can he run as fast as the other two but he does his best. I also feel it would be unfair to him as the other two accept him how he is now and if he suddenly is missing a lag I am not sure if they will be quite as fine with it. I believe that when he is older if he does still have to have his leg amputated that as his bond with the other two will be stronger they will be okay with it.

So lets see what have they been up to. . .

Well Elspeth seems quite taken with Rudi, she acts quite amorous towards him which is odd as at the same time she does this with Harry which has started to spark arguments, not big ones but when the boys are 'talking' to each other when she is around they get quite mad! I just cannot believe how much of a tease Elspeth is! One day Harry was in my office with me and Elspeth had been in their room with Rudi but then she came to my office and started to groom Harry which in fox language is more or less kissing. When Harry thought she wanted to, make kits shall we say, she quickly ran off back to grooming Rudi! Both boys seem quite confused by her as am I.
                                                               (Elspeth on her tower)

I have learnt Rudi is addicted to television which I would not have expected any animal to be. He actually tells you off if you try to turn it off OR change the channel when he is watching it. I am sure it does him no harm as he still plays with the other two it just seems to be when he is relaxing.

Last week we started to have some work done on our house, one of the rooms getting work done was Harry, Elspeth and Rudi's bedroom so I thought it would be okay for them to maybe try out the outside enclosure I had built for them many moons ago which neither Harry nor Elspeth like. I sat with them in there for a while and they did not do much but then when I went to the house to get a coffee I returned to see my three little foxes stood in the corner of the enclosure in a puddle of their urine shaking like leaves. Before I looked up I should have known what they had seen, a bird. Okay yes it was a big bird, I think it was a buzzard but they were petrified so that was that idea out the window. I picked the three of them up and put them each in their carriers and off to stay with my friends we went. I felt totally horrid for leaving them for even 10 mins in the enclosure but I thought maybe now they are older they would be less worried.

                                                               (Harry bottom, Rudi top)
Spring being spring means more then just both boys wanting to mount Elspeth all the time but also that they blow their coat seemingly starting with Harry. Harry looks like such a runt next to both of them with his total lack of fur. You see foxes do not shed like a cat or dog they totally loose their old coat so much so that they look a little like they have mange! Harry is going in huge chunks from being a total fur bal to looking naked! Elspeth is a bit behind him and Rudi has not started to shed yet. I am constantly hovering up blonde fur and I do not think my lint roller has ever had so much use! When I was a child I had a husky and I thought he shed allot but damn, these little foxies who are way less then half the size he was put his ability to cover everything in fur to shame.

Speaking of which I have yet more hovering to do before I got to bed, wish the Dyson luck hehe!

                                                                     (Rudi - Kisses!)