My neighbours divide fairly sharply into two camps, one group are fans of Fantastic Mr Fox, and the other is bitterly opposed to sharing the neighbourhood with animals of his ilk. Across the road, for example, I have the kindest, sweetest lady, who came to the rescue of one of my cats when he'd had a road accident and to whom I am eternally grateful for that intervention. She loves all animals, and puts dog food out at night for Mr Fox and his mates. Two doors up on the right I have another very dear friend, who is also a devoted animal lover. About a year ago this friend's three pet chickens, who only very occasionally got around to laying an egg for the family's breakfast, were murdered in cold blood by a psychotic Mr Fox, who hadn't even been after a chicken dinner. He left their sad remains behind and legged it, apparently having just killed them for the fun of it. As you might expect this lady is not kindly disposed towards the Ealing fox population.
I am careful to keep the two factions away from the subject of wildlife when they meet on my turf. And I myself probably live somewhere in between the two extremes. I think we've probably got a few too many foxes here in West London, but I'd be sad to see them all removed from the scene. I mean for all his foibles, Mr Fox really is a rather fantastic looking chap to find sitting on your garden wall.
I suspect he occasionally goes for a snooze under the decking at the back of our garden. Sometimes when the Wonderdog is out there he goes absolutely mental, barking and stomping around the deck. Mr Fox knows enough about the ways of the world to realise that the Wonderdog doesn't represent much of a threat, so he keeps his cool, snoozes on regardless, and finally emerges unperturbed when the coast is clear. He's a wily fellow, this urban fox of mine.
It's a source of constant wonder and amazement to me how so much wildlife can survive and prosper in this great bustling, busy city of ours.
And all the best for now,