Do You Feel Like I Feel?

I have just seen a dying fox. Well, he or she was not dying in front of my eyes but she had multiple leg injuries that would make it almost impossible to survive. She looked depressed and was limping badly. She had come to my porch for a rest and some sun. It is a bit of a sun trap. I heard some scrapping noses outside and went to the door that leads to the patio porch area. She was resting on the mat out there. I wanted to feed her but as soon as I gently opened the door she limped off. She tried twice to jump the wall at the end of the garden and just made it. It must have been painful for her. She licked her paws constantly indicating that they were painful.

Urban foxes in the UK get a lot of leg and foot injuries as they travel fast, climb lots of walls and land on rough surfaces. They are also shot at and persecuted sometimes. All this happens if they survive mange which strips their fur off them. They then die of hypothermia.

I don’t want to see a fox in this condition. I don’t want to see a cat in a poor condition because I feel what they are feeling. It is this very feeling that motivates everything I do. It is the feeling that motivates all people who care about cat welfare. It is almost an act of selfishness to want to alleviate a fox or cat or dog of his or her pain and distress because it is distressing to me. I find it almost unbearable. The problem is, we can’t help.

I wanted to hold this fox and take her to a vet to put her to sleep, to be free of the struggle to survive and the pain and discomfort that goes with it at the end of her short life in the urban jungle of London because simultaneously it would rid the discomfort from me. It would be an act of desperation and defeat.

Does someone out there feel like that?

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

What makes it all doubly painful is that this dying fox may be the fox I cured of mange last year and who disappeared.  Perhaps she has come back to a place where she knows she is safe. This is a video of her before she got mange:

The last time I saw her was when she was rolling in the grass in the sun, her mange almost cured. It is a picture in my mind that I will never forget.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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21 Responses

  1. leanne (kays hill animal sanctuary) says:

    i have just seen this michael, sorry i didnt get back earlier. i was going to say to try the fox project, but i see someone has already suggested it. i think they could give you much better advice than me. i hope one way or another this is sorted out for the foxes sake. keep us informed please.

  2. carl-fearson says:

    It amazes me how many people will starve all their native wildlife to death by letting cats destroy all their food sources by torturing all those prey-animals to death for cats’ play-toys and think nothing of it. But then when they actually see one of the native wildlife suffering, then all of a sudden they use that animal’s suffering to gain sympathy and attention for themselves. Cat-lovers just get sad and sadder to a mental-illness degree, no matter which way anyone slices and dices it.

    • Michael says:

      It surprised you, didn’t it, that I can love all animals including cats, domestic and feral. You can’t understand that. You are rambling and ranting again. You just don’t make sense.

    • Marc says:

      lol – ‘mental illness’ – methinks tis thou who art the f*cktard in all of this Wooden. A man who is feeding a fox and trying to help it is not a man who is starving it. Simple as that. You are made of wood right. That wood be something that wood finally make sense in all of this.

    • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

      carl-fearson, there is certainly a mentally ill person here and it isn’t Michael who is the most kind and compassionate man to ALL animals.
      Your hateful spiteful ranting under various names is getting worse, do go and seek psychiatric help before it’s too late!

    • Rowwdy says:

      Carl: You are aware that cats, by their very nature, are natural predators? They keep a lot of the rodent population down. You know, rats and mice that carry diseases?

      In America, a lot of the larger, natural predators, have been killed off by man. Ergo, leading to an over population of deer. Now we have hunts just to kill because of a need to lower the population because they are causing serious accidents and deaths. In addition, they doing serious damage to vegetation. Hence, leave the predators alone.

      Who is trying to garner attention carl? Certainly not Michael. At least not that I can see. If he were, he would be in the newspapers or on tv. You sound like an insipid little Napoleon with your nonsensical allegations.

  3. maewkaew says:

    Yes the rabies series used to be 13 shots in the stomach when I was a kid.
    But I thought there wasn’t rabies in the UK. Not that I’m saying Michael doesn’t need to worry about being bitten whether or not there’s a rabies risk.

    Michael you probably know about this but I found this site , could you contact them? It says they have a fox ambulance service . but their area does not cover all of London. maybe they could at least give advice on trapping.
    I guess otherwise it is the RSPCA.

    Mobile ambulance
    01892 731565 (9.00am – 9.00pm daily)
    Outside those hours, please call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999

    • Michael says:

      Thank you very much for the information. Very sweet of you.

    • Rowwdy says:

      You are right maewkaew…..there is no rabies in Britain. I keep forgetting that. But, if Michael did get bit, he still needs gamma globulin shots just above point of injury. Then he would have to lie to the doctor as to how he was injured lol.

  4. Rowwdy says:

    Michael; If she comes back, don’t try to approach her immediately. Put some food out for her and let her see you don’t mean any harm. Gain her trust and she may allow you to get closer. Yes, foxes are shy, but being injured tends to change their skepticism of humans. She may not have the energy to be too aggressive. You could also leave a bowl out where she went over the fence. Worst case sceanrio, you do get bit and have to have rabies shots. Good news is, they are now down to 5 injections in the muscle. 🙂

    Here is a funny story about foxes. I have a very dear friend who is from Britain. When she was “home” on vacation, she hooked up with her friend who is die hard animal rescue. Well, the friend told her about some foxes….mother an babies, of whom had been concreted in some road construction thing. Lordy, she and her friend along with another gal went out in the dead of night and busted the whole concrete thing apart. Took the foxes and drove like bats of hell to get away from the scene. She told me, she just knew she was going to end up in the “gaol”. I looked at her like she had lost her mind. I asked if she realized she was committing a felony in a foreign country. She simply said and I quote “well I am a dual citizen”. She huffed off like it was no big thing. I do understand the cruelty of what happened to the foxes and I identify with her love of animals. But, she is always taking risks and has had rabies series at LEAST 3 times that I know of.

    • Michael says:

      I have a very dear friend who is from Britain…

      Who is this crazy, beautiful person who saves foxes? And thanks for your thoughts.

      • Rowwdy says:

        Michael: My “dear dottie” British friend is now 66 yrs old. She can no longer do what she use to do because of physical problems. She does however still feed the feral cats in her area….even though she has been warned by the city to “cease and desist”. She won’t.

        Is anyone here old enough to remember an incident in London in 1990 about a group of women rescuing cats from a fenced off construction site?

  5. maewkaew says:

    Poor fox. Could she perhaps be trapped like we do feral cats for TNR? to get her to a vet then they could tranquilize her and see if they can help? If she’s too horribly injured it would be better to put her down so she won’t suffer.
    Is there a wildlife rehabilitator you could ask for advice?

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for your sympathetic comment. I know of nothing and no one who can help in London. It really messes me up, the whole experience. I wish it was easier to help. We just let a animal who is injured go off to suffer and die. Is this right? It feels very wrong to me.

  6. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    That was so sad for you Michael, seeing the injured fox but unable to help her because she’s so afraid of humans. No doubt she’s been chased away from other gardens.
    It’s terrible that the authorities are wanting to kill the foxes in London, that they are using the fact that one is supposed to have got in a house and injured a baby.
    Dogs often injure babies and children yet no one calls for every dog to be killed!
    It’s down to parents to keep their children safe.
    It’s also terrible that the government are desperate to overturn the hunting ban it took us years of campaigning to have it passed and use any excuse to blacken the name of foxes.
    I hope your fox comes back soon and allows you to help her.

    • Michael says:

      I’ll try and help her next time but I don’t think there will be a next time. Correctly, they run away from people.

    • Michael says:

      I have just seen her this evening. She was sleeping in my covered cat litter tray on the porch/patio. When I opened the back door she left it and walked off. I wish she wouldn’t do that. I left out some cat food and some chicken for her. I feel very sad for her. I hate the whole thing. For me it just highlights how cruel and harsh the world is. This can’t be the creation of a God.

      • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

        I wonder if Kevin or Leanne of Kays Hill would have any good ideas for you, they care for injured foxes up there.
        I’ll send this link to them.

  7. Rowwdy says:

    Michael; Knowing myself and my love of animals, I probably would have captured the fox and taken her to a vet to see if she could be saved. I would have spent the money if there was any encouragement of the fox healing. Healing to where they could actually hunt. Then, I would have taken it far out into the country where it could run free.

    Animals, wild and domestic are at the mercy of humans. I believe we should all be good stewards of our wildlife. After all, it is humans who have encroached on their habitats. It is so sad when an animal wanders into ‘civilization’. I can only imagine their fear trying to survive.

    Maybe, by the grace of God, your little fox will survive. Or….even come back to your place and try to heal where a kind person lives.

    • Michael says:

      I thought about that after she went. It would be a big thing to do and I am not sure I could have captured her. If she comes back I’ll try. It’ll be dramatic because no one does that. I might get bitten and there will be some chaos but if it helps this fox, I’ll do it, if the fox doesn’t make it impossible. Foxes are very wary of humans. They just move on, disappear, when humans are around. I really want to help this fox. There are too many animals to help.

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