Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moggy Mystery

I was walking along Woodstock Road the other day when I saw a fox. A fox! Not a female student dressed up with a team of 'hunters' chasing her round various pubs, but a real, furry, Animals of Farthing Wood type fox. I thought foxes were limited to countryside hedgerows and roadkill, but a quick search on google revealed that urban foxes are the new craze in bin-raiding animal gangs.

This led me to think that I hardly see any animals in Oxford. Sure, there are the dog-walkers in Port Meadow, but where are they in the town centre? At least I don't end up obsessively checking my shoes to locate the source of That Smell, but I miss our furry friends. It can't be just because it's a city - Paris has poodles galore.

Perhaps Oxfordians just aren't canine-philes, in which case surely they must be feline fans. But again, where are all the cats? You can't drive up my parents' street where I grew up without dodging at least 2 cats, and having your tyres scratched when you park. Not such a blessing perhaps, but there's nowt wrong with the odd moggy fight, the affection-seeking spirals of fur that fling themselves in your direction, the glowing eyes looking out of the tree. The closest I've got is the Cheshire Cat memorabilia in the Alice shop. Perhaps all the cats are Alice-esque Chesire cats, and I'm just not noticing the floating grins wandering past me in the street.

Or maybe everyone has pet fish or hamsters, carrying weasels in their pocket or sea monkeys in their watches. I've heard tamagotchis are making a comeback - maybe they're more suited to the hectic, urban Oxford lifestyle.

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