Foxes and the art of playing | Notice


Unlike cats who bury their droppings and dogs who squat and poop at the closest spot, foxes seem to be more playful and creative where they leave their business card. Favorite spots on our property are on our redwood deck, at our back door, and under our clothesline. However, they often choose large boulders that they have to climb to do their business. Some of them require a fair amount of athleticism to get the poo just in the right place. Lots of poo points seem to be fancy.

Whenever we have leftover chicken, pork, or beef bones, my wife puts them on a familiar rock in our backyard and without exception, one of the resident foxes collects them. They are often seen making their rounds, including stopping at the “rock of bones”.

Recently an adult fox chased our cat through our back yard and onto our back porch. The cat climbed a corner post and rested on a cross member. The fox stood on the porch and looked up helplessly. Our back door was open and the fox looked into our kitchen as if he was thinking of inviting himself.

Great naturalists are often great storytellers. John Muir’s “Stickeen” story ranks among the best “people / dog” stories ever told. However, anthropologist Loren Eiseley wrote a story about a fox puppy that rivals the world’s great naturalistic storytellers.

“The creature was very young. He was alone in a frightening universe. I knelt around the bow and crouched down next to him. It was a little fox from under the woods looking at me. God knows what happened to his siblings. Her relative must not have returned from a hunt.


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