Staying on the subject of wild life, living in London’s suburbs has introduced us to the urban fox. The whiff of musk which we would cross at points on our Garth walks, is the prevalent perfume here. It’s ubiquitous. On closing our first floor bedroom curtains one evening last week I caught the upward stare of my first Teddington fox standing on a green patch in the communal gardens, with a, ‘Yeah?... And? Whatever,’ look, challenging me to close the curtains before he sloped off into the laurel hedge.
The inhabitants of Harrowdene Gardens don’t leave their leftover pizzas out for foxy dinners. They may not even eat pizza. I don’t know, I’ve stopped knocking on their doors to introduce myself. But if I was delivering pizza perhaps they would answer their doors. Charles Forster in his recent, ‘Being a beast,’ attempted to get down on it with badgers, deer, otters and urban foxes, and found poking around London bins for pizza or curry leftovers particularly distressing. Clearly, he’d never been on a night out in Cardiff ending up in Caroline Street with the munchies.
The Evening Standard has a current campaign to get out of date leftovers in the big supermarkets to homeless and poor Londoners. Don’t think the urban fox realises they aren’t included in the campaign, as I spied an empty take-away container (washed) and a couple of cardboard egg containers by the rose garden, abandoned once they saw they didn’t contain fresh chickens’ eggs, which their country cousins would have eaten straight from the coup.
My second fox, sighted from our front room, was limping badly, clearly in need of a hip replacement, which unless we change young doctors’ contracts she isn’t going to get on the NHS.
Our guest, sleeping on an air bed in the front room and keen to get on with her day, opened the curtains early to see two young foxes, hunting collaboratively for breakfast. Given the species are supposedly so clever, I wonder why they haven’t gone straight to the supermarket source or accost the Tesco delivery man when the food is fresh. The Teddington fox is far too cool to ask. Now the Barnes fox is a different animal all together.