I woke up on Thursday night at awful howls coming from our back garden (odd, there aren’t any stray dogs in London), but fell asleep shortly after. When I woke up in the morning, it surprised me the howls were still there – occasionally (that must be an animal or something, it’s been there for hours, it’s probably hurt, someone, the neighbourhood should do something about it).
I looked in the garden to see where the howls were coming from. At first, there was nothing. Then, I pleasantly discovered a fox going up and down the fence. (Oh, wow! How exciting! – A fox! I wonder what it’s doing here). I watched it patrolling up and down and noticed another animal at the right end of the fence. (So, this first fox must be trying to convince the other to come down and go back to the park or forest (?!) where they usually live, but this other fox can’t jump because it’s got its leg tangled in the branches on the fence. That was it, the foxes had left the park during the night, gotten in the back garden – in search of food, poor animals, what do they eat, they’re so dirty, then one of them caught its leg in the branches and couldn’t escape. I bet it hurts to have your leg caught up like that, surely it’s broken, accidents like these happen all the time when forest animals end up in the city, did we really have to encroach on their habitat like that, us humans are absolutely pathetic when it comes to preserving the wildlife and the environment, this Planet is going bust, what a relief).
Something had to be done. (The fox has been sitting on the fence leg tangled and broken and blood pumping and haemorrhaging for hours and all, it’s broad daylight, it’s starved, it’s probably going to die, poor thing, why hasn’t anyone called the animal protection unit yet? I’ve seen it done on Animal Planet, you pick up the phone, you call the RSPCA, they pick up, you tell them the emergency, they arrive, animal’s rescued, everything’s ok).
So I called the RSPCA. (It’s just impossible to revise with this animal dying in the back garden, what kind of person would I be if I let that happen, the neighbours must have heard it so far as well, why haven’t they called someone?)
But it was a bit of a struggle to get through the answering machine and pick the number for the exact type of situation my injured animal was in. I almost gave up when I’d tried twice and could not get through. (Jesus, call again, look at that fox, it’s going to be dead by the time you get home, it’ll rot on the fence, no one’s done anything about it so far, what about the body?)
“Hi, I’m calling about a fox that’s been sitting on a fence in our back garden for hours. It’s howling all the time, I think it’s got a leg trapped in the branches on the fence and can’t escape. There was another fox there, but it’s gone now. No, I haven’t spoken to the neighbours, I don’t know them and I don’t think they’re at home. They would have probably done something about it. Yes, it was in the garden last night as well, I heard it howling”. (Oh, it’s good I’ve spoken to someone, she was really nice and understood the gravity. I hope the other agent calls back soon, why do they need to verify, this animal is clearly suffering, I see it from my window).
Minutes later, the phone rings. “I’m calling about this fox you think is wounded”. (OF COURSE it’s wounded, it’s been sitting on the fence for hours, what kind of fox sits on the fence for hours in the middle of the day?!) “Where did you say it was again, on the fence? What kind of fence is it? Have you talked to the neighbours? I will send an agent to check”. (Thanks, but there’s no need to be so inquisitive, the fox is really there and it makes these awful sounds and it’s just not well, I’m not crazy.)
“I’m currently in Peckham and driving towards you. Could you do me a favour and check if the fox is still there? Is there someone who could help if it tried to get away?” “I don’t know who could help. Great, could you try to make it here by half past one? I need to leave then.” (Why would it try to get away, it’s hurt, at last, they’re coming over, hmm, I don’t think she’s bringing over a TV crew to film the thing – like on Animal Planet. They can’t see me in my house clothes, oh, what if she’s bringing a TV crew and they film it and show it at home, my parents will see me in my pyjamas, my relatives will see it as well and tell my parents, ha-ha, she went to London for a Master’s and she’s on Animal Planet in her pyjamas, this is ridiculous, it can’t happen ; anyway, I’ll get dressed to leave for the exam, it’s only 45 minutes away, better keep an eye on the fox, too.)
All of a sudden, someone tried to open the garden gates and the fox jumped down from the fence and hid in the bushes. (WHAT THE FUCK, it had a broken leg, what if that’s a fox catcher who wants to kill the animal, what do I do? Where did it go, what do I tell the lady from the RSPCA, she’ll think I’d been lying, ah, there it is, there’s the other one as well, at least they’re both in the garden, sigh.)
“Hi, thanks for coming. Here’s what happened – the fox had been sitting on the fence and it was there for hours and I really thought it was hurt, but someone tried to open the gates and it just jumped and now it’s still in the garden – let me show you,” (smiling innocently).
“I see, they’re probably in their mating season. The females make those noises, I know they’re awful. No, it’s not a wasted call, I’m happy to see all is fine. I’ll go look around the garden to check their circumstances, but this looks like the type of environment they’d normally be in”. (I see, well, I had to call you, that’s what you do. How was I supposed to know they were in their mating season? And when have I ever seen a fox sitting on the fence back home? No, you haven’t made a complete fool of yourself, Irina, it’s ok, but really, what normal fox sits on the fence for half a day, you had to call, it’s what you do.)