It has been ages since my last update as it has been the busiest Spring ever, especially since I have out of necessity, become very involved in fox rescue as well as cats! It really has been absolutely non stop with foxes from the very beginning of cub season; small ones, big ones, abandoned ones, sick ones, injured ones and some who just needed a helping hand from getting themselves stuck somewhere!
It was very stressful and traumatic at times as some were very sick and couldn’t be saved but at least they were given the best possible chance and they did not die in misery outside. There was one particularly sad case where I was trying to catch a partially sighted fox every day for a few weeks-we built up quite a bond although I could only get so near before she hot-footed it off, even though she could hardly see so I had to rely on trying to catch her in my humane trap. She had a safe home where she lived in the park and many people were very fond of her but she was very sick. I was so pleased when my perseverance paid off and I caught her but all along I had known that it probably wasn’t going to be a good outcome. As well as having bad mange and being in poor condition generally, she had cataracts therefore sadly there was nothing we could do except let her go peacefully.
That one really got to me as I had tried so very hard to save her but I have to focus on the successes like little Duncan! He was a cub who I was called out to as he seemed to have been ostracised by his mother and siblings and was having difficulty walking. As soon as I examined him I could see why-he had a terrible tick infestation and I removed over 100 from between his toes. It was a horrible job! This is him having a rest after all the prodding!
The next day he started to have fits and the vet wanted to put him to sleep but I could see he was a plucky little fellow and wanted to give him a chance so took him home to sort him out overnight. After tick treatment, worming, a good clean up and plenty of food and water, he really rallied around and became very playful and full of beans! He was jumping all over me like a puppy, wagging his tail and and nibbling my toes-he was going to be fine so he then went into the care of my friends at the National Fox Welfare Society where he was paired up with another cub and went from strength to strength. He will be released later in the year with his little group of cubs.
There have been many, many others!
I have given a lot of advice to people who have needed help with mange treatment-it is always best to give medication in situ whenever possible if the fox is not too badly affected. Sometimes they need to be cage trapped for more intensive treatment but often when they are that badly affected, they are very ill and don’t survive. If you see a fox needing help, help it! Mange treatment is readily available; homeopathic or conventional. Conventional medication needs to be given under strict conditions but whether you believe in it or not, homeopathic has some spectacular results!
I have also had to advise some people who are a bit worried about foxes because of the ridiculous and untrue stories in the press; stories about fox ‘attacks’ which are made up in order to help the pro hunting lobby and unfortunately believed by some people who think that if it is in the newspaper or on the news, it must be true. It isn’t. Luckily most people realise this when you explain that these stories cannot possibly be true. As I write, David Cameron, knowing that most people are against the barbaric and pointless bloodsport and that he has little chance of repealing the hunting ban, is trying to ‘relax’ the laws by a free vote next week. Please write to your MP asking them to attend and BLOCK any attempts to repeal or water down the hunting act via www.writetothem.com.
It is important that we do what we can for wildlife and in the heat of summer, animals need water in the same way that we do-please leave extra bowls of fresh water in your garden for passing birds and animals-they will appreciate it.
I have rescued and rehomed a lot of cats this year starting with poor Tibby who was found with his owner who had passed away at Christmas-he was so traumatised and could not be touched but he was such a gentle boy that he soon came round enough for me to home him with a lovely family nearby. When they came to see him, he hid but I knew they were right for each other and although they had never had a cat before, it all worked out brilliantly-he is a different cat now! Before and after….
Here are a few more recent rescues in their new homes….
The most recent cat urgently needing a home is Rosso-I just picked him up yesterday morning; he has been around as a stray for a few months and his feeder has just moved house so it was time to try to find him a permanent home. He was neutered yesterday and is waiting for a lovely new home-could it be you? Look at that face!
I have also rescued several pigeons, geese and ducks!
Finally, I had to say goodbye to my lovely Marvin who came to my garden as a feral cat fifteen years ago-I fed him for a few weeks although he was always terrified and ran away. One day he arrived with a huge abscess like a tennis ball so I had to trap him and have him treated and neutered then kept him in. He hid behind the washing machine only coming out to bite me black and blue but soon learned that being stroked was a good thing! He was always scared of everything-noises, vacuum cleaners, the doorbell, visitors, birds, butterflies etc but he was always so kind and welcoming to other cats and trusted me. He was at least 17 when he died so he had a wonderful long life full of love and happiness that he would not have had living as a street cat. He loved to sleep close to me and he has left a big space on the bed-I miss him so much. Please consider giving a loving home to a feral cat-the rewards are immense-the love they give back is extra amazing!