I had another stereotypical late night visitor last night. To go with my tawny owl of a few weeks ago and endless cats, last night brought a fox to my driveway.
It was an odd sort of encounter, because the fox began it by pretending to be a cat.
I had been having a little pre-midnight stargaze, watching Aquila rise over the church hall and seeing the darkly blazing ruby of Antares twinkling angrily between the trees. I sensed rather than heard soft footsteps, and turned round to see one of the local white-and-tortie cats skulking in the darkness.
As usual it ignored my "ch-ch-ch-ch" entreaties and sauntered off down the drive.
I returned to my stargazing, and thought no more of the cat for a few minutes, until I turned again and saw a pair of ears protruding from a shadow on the crumbling tarmac. I thought the ears were rather long - comically they reminded me of Snoopy's ears in a Peanuts cartoon about "The Great Pumpkin"! - and it was only when the animal moved out into orange streetlight glow that its true nature was revealed.
It was another late night fox, another vixen judging by the rather undistinguished brush, and although she wasn't as bold and brave as the one I watched in town, she was quite happy to let me get to about 10-15 metres and take a couple of sadly not terribly amazing photos before she trotted across the road and was lost to sight under a bush.
Astronomy...it pays to be an observer! That's how you have encounters like this.