The mangy fox


Back when we were still living in a London flat with a garden access, we were often visited by foxes. The place was a mess, and we had a stream running at the end of the garden, so wild animals really liked to frequent our place. A field mouse was living by the kitchen door, completely unafraid of us, squirrely came around, and ate the seeds we put out for them, songbirds and crows were roaming around; a veritable piece of wilderness.
It was not our fault it was a mess I hasten to add. It would have been the landlord’s job to fix it, but he refused to spend the money, so we had a garden full of broken tiles, bricks, glass and rusting metal; we cleaned up as much as we could and planted grass seeds bought from the Pound Store onto the clay (with surprisingly good results I might add), but some serious investment of money and effort would have been needed for the place to look like your idea of an „English Garden”.

Anyhow, the foxes were fun. Sometimes you could see little cubs playing, sometimes an adult came by- even during broad daylight. (We had some adventures at night, too.) We noticed one particular: a large adult with a serious case of mange. His whole backside was affected, and the poor thing looked horrible. He did not look like he was in pain: he sat around, sunbathing for most of the time.
Up until then I had not really realized how horrible disease it really is. It essentially kills the animal, and in not a pleasant way, so I looked into how to treat him- if treatment was even possible. Well, it turns out there was a charity that sent out a medicine if you requested it, which had to be taken orally.
I was quite doubtful about an oral anti-mange treatment, buti t was worth giving a shot: after all I can’t really catch the animal to use the topical treatments, and the local council would have just killed him.
So treatment it is. How do you give medicine for a fox, you ask?
The answer is simple –and quite amusing. If you put it on meat, cats might get to it, since cats love meat, too. But there’s one thing you do not know about foxes: they too have a sweet tooth. Which means you can just put the medicine on a jam sandwich, and they will happily eat it.
So there I was, for month feeding a fox with marmalade sandwiches every night. Cut up the sandwich into small cubes, and leave them around the end of the back garden. The fox actually had his own jar of marmalade in the fridge.
I hope the treatment worked, but if it did not, at least he ate well.


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