Larry is not Liz Truss’ ordinary cat. He is the cat at 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Ministers. He has lived there since 2011 and has already known four prime ministers. Moreover, the official title of his position, as indicated by the management of the residence, is “extermination manager”.

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A cat whose latest exploit is grabbing the headlines in the British press, and for good reason: Larry was hunting a fox. The scene took place last week at night. We see the cat freezing on the pavement, and suddenly a fox appears in the picture, very thin and not very sure of himself. The cat jumps up and chases it like a cheetah, the fox runs away, tries to get its head back and then gives up before the cat’s menacing attitude.

The video has been watched millions of times, broadcast and rebroadcast on TV, giving rise to many jokes about the weakness of the Prime Minister, attacked from all sides, also therefore by a fox! Did the cat defend Liz Truss in her move? Did he defend the institution? Is he the only presence left 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, especially this question: should we be afraid?

In fact, foxes have been in English cities for about forty years. There are 10,000 in London, a hundred thousand across the country, and their population has been stable for decades. They are scared, don’t attack people unless they are 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 in two die before they are two years old. Nothing to fear an invasion. On the other hand, cats reproduce. Their numbers are increasing, in England, but also here, in France, with a strong impact on biodiversity, insects, butterflies, birds. So they are the ones to watch out for, perhaps more than the foxes.