Fox in the Henhouse

Well, the most extraordinary thing happened this morning. I walked out to the henhouse to let the girls into the run, and inside the henhouse there were four chickens and…one cat.

That’s right. Loretta somehow managed to sneak into the henhouse and spend the night with the chickens.

This is not Loretta’s first performance of the week. Over the weekend, while we were gone, he somehow managed to get himself locked in the attic and stayed there for two days until our pet sitter realized that he wasn’t around and went looking for him.

So you’d think that after two days with no food and water, he would have gotten over his interest in sneaking into places he shouldn’t be. But no.

We’ve tried to piece it together and as far as we can tell, Loretta was not inside the coop when Scott locked it up last night–in fact, he specifically remembers seeing Loretta in the backyard after that. But when I got home around 8:30 last night, we both went back outside so I could say goodnight to the girls. I went into the coop and Scott stood in the doorway. The girls were already perched in the rafters for the night. Loretta must have managed to sneak right past Scott and into the coop with me, then remain unnoticed while I walked around, said goodnight to the girls, and then walked out and locked the door behind me. It was pitch dark and he’s a quiet cat, so I suppose it’s possible. Chickens can’t see at night so they probably didn’t see him either.

They say that a scare can put chickens off laying for days. I hope they weren’t too scared when they woke up in the morning and found Loretta laying in the pine shavings below them. When I found them this morning, they were all standing on a little shelf a few feet off the ground, looking outraged. Loretta just looked up at me as if it was the most normal thing in the world to sleep with chickens. I shooed him out, apologized profusely to the chickens, and things are (we hope) back to normal.

Lesson: Never go out to the coop in the dark without a flashlight.