"A Pelt to Dye For"

Copyright 1995,1996 Terry Knight

A nice warm summers day just brings out the best in some people, Sergi and I had decided, as we sat in the back garden wth a cold drink in our paws, admiring the prone form of our vulpine flatmate Kathy. She was sunning herself in the back garden, in the fur naturally, a contented smile on her face.

She sat up and stretched. "Ahhh... that was good" she declared. "Time to cool off, I think. You guys want another drink?"

The brown bear on my left sat up. "Sure, Kath. How 'bout you, Clark?"

"Not for me, thanks" I replied, smiling.

Both of us were grinning like crazy as we watched Kathy's sleek furred figure get up and walk towards the house, and it wasn't just because of the view were were now getting. Sergi and I had a surprise in wait for Kathy. We had decided to assist her in "cooling off" after her sunbathing, which just happened to involve a bucket of water perched on the back door of the house...

"What a nice time for a shower... hehehehe", I giggled.

"Shhhh.... there she goes..." Sergi whispered.

She opened the door and...

SPLASH!!! The red vixen was promptly drenched from head to toe!

"YES!" Sergi and I yelled, giving each other a 'high five'. "YES!!!"

"YOU BASTARDS!!!" laughed Kathy. She could take a joke as well as us, really. But then she looked closer at her dripping form, and her mood changed in a nanosecond...


We looked - and our jaws dropped...

Some jerk had decided to drop a canister of blue dye into our water - resulting in Kathy turning navy blue! She screamed at Sergi and I, calling us every name under the sun, while we both took a leaf from the nuclear industry and rapidly Assumed Minimum Safe Distance.

After a while we came back when Kathy had cooled off a bit, and apologised to her. She was still pretty angry, as you might expect. She had tried washing it out with soap and other shampoos, but nothing had worked - this dye was well and truly colourfast. Kathy now looked like a very cold Vulpine Smurf, but there the resemblance to anything cute ended - Kathy was still in a VERY foul mood.

"It wasn't us that put the dye in, honest!" I said. "All we wanted to do was to give you a dunking after your sunbathing..."

"Then who WAS it, Clark?"

Sergi considered. "Well, your boyfriend WAS here - "

Kathy cut him off. "My EX boyfriend. Hmmm... he probably decided on some sabotage of his own."

Apparently their breakup was less than harmonious... So Kathy's now EX-boyfriend had gotten wind of our stunt. God knows how they broke up - and right now it was the least of my problems.

Kathy insisted, of course, that we fix her fur up to her original colour - nothing more, nothing less. So, after dodging some less-than-expertly aimed blows, Sergi and I set off to the supermarket looking for dye. We found a nice shade of red that we though was "close enough", and took it back to her.

"No." Kathy stated. "That's not my colour. My fur is NOT just red - it's a red ochre inherited from my mother's side. And I will settle for NOTHING less!"

"An EXACT match?" Sergi gasped. "But - that could take ages!"

"So you'd better hurry, boys" snarled Kathy. "Red Ochre. An EXACT match."

But this still didn't solve our problem.

Most dyeing requirements, it seemed to us, wasn't that precise. We knew what we were looking for, but I had to rely on Sergi to properly match samples, as my colour vision wasn't the best. By Sunday evening, we still hadn't found that red ochre dye.

Kathy by now had removed the blue stains by getting a peroxide bleach, which still hadn't improved her temper. A bleach-blonde fox is not exactly a pretty sight - but it was better than navy blue.

"Why don't you simply let the fur grow back naturally" I asked.

"Because, Clark... as you jerks were the ones who did this, YOU ARE THE ONES WHO ARE GOING TO CLEAN ME UP!!!" she screamed.

So here we are, on what seems to be a fruitless quest. It's a race to see what happens first - us finding the correct dye, or Kathy's fur growing back to normal by itself. A silent hunt through the dark depths of hairdressers and manchester shops looking for that one EXACT match with vulpine colouring. If we don't find it soon, Kathy will undoubtedly become even more unbearable to live with!

Actually, if we ever succeed, this would make a good story. I've even got a title for it that Tom Clancy would approve of:

The Hunt for Red Fox Ochre.

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Copyright 1996 Terry Knight.
For more information contact: mayfurr@ibm.net