Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeCatsby scaring away a fox, Larry, the cat of 10 Downing Street,...

by scaring away a fox, Larry, the cat of 10 Downing Street, signs a feat that causes a stir in the midst of a political crisis

Larry is not Liz Truss’ regular cat. He is the cat of 10 Downing Street, the residence of the English Prime Ministers. He has lived there since 2011 and has already known four prime ministers. Moreover, the official title of his position, as specified by the stewardship of the residence, is “head of extermination”.

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A cat whose latest feat is making the headlines of the British press, and for good reason: Larry hunted a fox. The scene took place last week, at night. We see the cat freeze on the sidewalk and suddenly a fox appears in the image, very thin and not very sure of himself. The cat jumps up and chases it like a cheetah, the fox runs off, tries to get a head back and then gives up in front of the threatening attitude of the cat.

The video has been seen millions of times, broadcast and rebroadcast on TV, prompting many jokes about the weakness of the Prime Minister, attacked from all sides, including therefore by a fox! In its movement, did the cat defend Liz Truss? Did he defend the institution? Is he all that remains of presence in England? We can have fun. But this video also generated a lot of questions about the presence of this fox, there, in the heart of London, in particular this question: should we be afraid?

In fact, foxes have been in English towns for about forty years. They are 10,000 in London, a hundred thousand across the country, and their population has been stable for decades. They are fearful, do not attack humans unless cornered. According to Terry Woods, founder of an association for the protection of foxes, interviewed by the Guardian, if they have been visible in recent years, it is because they can no longer hide. The gardens are better maintained, the hedges have disappeared, the wastelands have been concreted.

In the end, the foxes are fragile, puny, one out of two dies before they are two years old. Nothing to fear an invasion. On the other hand, cats multiply. Their number is increasing, in England but also here, in France, with a strong impact on biodiversity, insects, butterflies, birds. So they are the ones to keep an eye on, perhaps more so than the foxes.

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