When Larry the cat chased off a vulpine visitor from No 10 last week, many of us cheered him on. But others argue the fox deserves its place, both in our folklore and in our cities
The video footage that went viral last week looked like a cross between a natural history film and a documentary on the vicious nature of British politics. It showed Larry the cat, the Downing Street moggie who goes by the title of “chief mouser to the Cabinet Office”, chasing off a fox from outside the prime minister’s residence. Not Liam Fox, the former international trade secretary and Rishi Sunak supporter, but a red fox, as they are officially called – which is to say a mangy grey one.
According to research conducted by Professor Dawn Scott, executive dean for Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, cats are far more likely to chase away foxes than the other way around. “Cats nearly always win,” she says.