{25/01/2013}   Foxes
The other day, I felt drawn into Tatty Devine on Brick Lane, a jewellery shop whose window I had often looked at from outside but had never been in before.  I ended up buying a wooden fox brooch, which I realise in part was because I love foxes.  I used to be indifferent to the presence of foxes in towns, but after a fox kind of rescued me a few years ago I am now happy to see them and I am pleased to have my fox badge.

A few years ago, I lived in a basement flat of a detached Victorian house.  The front door was down about four steps and that part of the house was surrounded by a brick wall about a metre high.  My mum and my boyfriend were with me on the afternoon of my fox story.  My mum had been outside with a broom and, on walking above the flat’s entrance height heading to the steps to get in the door, on a level with the metre high wall which was essentially holding back the lawn, she realised there was a poorly or injured rat by the front door, essentially blocking the front door.  She could tell it was angry so hung the broom pole down to see if she could ward it off.  The rat leapt at the pole and hung on with its teeth.  By this time, peering out the bathroom window, we inside knew about the rat.Eventually mum got the rat far enough away that she could get in.  It then felt like we were all held hostage in the flat by an angry, sick rat.  We Googled, contacted the landlady, spoke to pest control, spoke to the local council.  No options were viable, the council saying they would come over in three days!  We spent a long time trying to work out what to do, at least an hour.  In the end, it was decided that Chris would kill the rat with a spade, something all of us were really upset about.  But a sick, unpredictable and clearly angry rat standing guard at my front door was not a happy prospect.Chris then armed himself and climbed out the lounge window.  Mum and I felt awful for him as he clearly isn’t an animal killer type.  As he stealthed round the corner of the house, he stopped and whispered back to us that a fox was heading for the front door.  Bear in mind it was daylight, maybe 3pm.  He then watched in awe as the fox trotted past him, down the steps, picked up the rat and carried it off and presumably (well, obviously) killed it, leaving not a trace.

And that is why I love foxes.  In that same house, I once found my cat sitting on an interior window ledge, about three centimetres (through glass) from a fox who was leaning from the brick wall to the exterior window ledge.  Neither animal seemed distressed, it was like they were communcating hellos to each other.  The fox turned and left when he saw me but it was oddly calm and non-aggressive between my cat and the fox.

I know foxes can be a pest, raiding bins, pooing and weeing around houses and gardens and killing smaller animals/birds (I struggle with stories of foxes killing babies) but I am always pleased to see a fox in my neighbourhood and I love it when they stop in their tracks from hearing you and stare right at you.


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