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Cat + Dog = Fox
October 12, 2012 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Just four minutes of a domesticated fox being aggressively cute. (SLYT)
posted by hellojed (76 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh. my. science.

WANT
posted by lazaruslong at 8:58 PM on October 12, 2012


HAH! At 2:18, the classic SNOW DIVE.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:00 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It sounds like a sick Ewok.
posted by Nomyte at 9:03 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I look forward to the inevitable foxshaming.tumblr.com:

I HIDE CACHES OF MEAT IN THE HOUSE

I AM THE ALPHA CAT

I ATE THE BUNNY
posted by griphus at 9:04 PM on October 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


Just would like to note that this is not a "domesticated" fox (the owner notes this in the description, in the last line), but just a fox that was reared by humans.

There were a bunch of foxes domesticated in the Soviet Union but unfortunately this isn't it.
posted by anateus at 9:17 PM on October 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Foxes are the new owls.

You heard it here first, folks.
posted by Mizu at 9:22 PM on October 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Might be cute in the video, but foxes do not make good pets. They will destroy your house, they stink even after being neutered, will never train/obey the way a dog would, they are masters of escape, and are extremely shy around anything they don't know well.
posted by sophist at 9:25 PM on October 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


That's the strangest looking kitty cat I've ever seen.
posted by The Potate at 9:26 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Might be cute in the video, but foxes do not make good pets. They will destroy your house, they stink even after being neutered, will never train/obey the way a dog would, they are masters of escape, and are extremely shy around anything they don't know well.

Even the tame Russian foxes?
posted by limeonaire at 9:31 PM on October 12, 2012


The fox seems unhappy. Its ears keep going back and the noises sound...plaintive, somehow. I don't know foxes, I admit, but it seemed sad and it made me feel bad for it.
posted by clockzero at 9:40 PM on October 12, 2012 [17 favorites]


Kinda looks like it barely suffers being petted.
posted by edgeways at 9:45 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


that's just the sound they use to lure you so they can steal your precious gold.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 PM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't have used the word "domesticated" in this sense. It is tamed or habituated. Domestication happens more on the genetic level over time.

And this is NOT a happy fox even as adorable as the sounds that are coming out of its mouth are.
posted by fogonlittlecatfeet at 9:47 PM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


So cute. I mean, I was smiling. Funny little person.

But not more please. Plainly, "domesticated" and "fox" are not words that belong together.
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:57 PM on October 12, 2012


Yeah I wasn't sure what word to use, tame/pet/domesticated/etc. Semantics and all that.

Also: I'm totally aware that wild/non-domesticated foxes, 99% of the time, are not fit to be a pet, since I've looked it up more times than I want to admit. Which is why I'm relegated to looking at youtube videos of russians and their foxes.
posted by hellojed at 10:01 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think I'd put my hand anywhere near that thing.
posted by Mindworm at 10:07 PM on October 12, 2012


May be cute, but untrustworthy, especially when reporting the news.
posted by not_on_display at 10:11 PM on October 12, 2012 [40 favorites]


yeah sure let's bend some animals to our will with neotenizing breeding/culling
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:11 PM on October 12, 2012


fogonlittlecatfeet: And this is NOT a happy fox

How do you know? It was occurring to me, during the video, that I have basically no idea how to read fox body language. It seemed to enjoy being petted, because it looked like it was asking for more afterward, and then went to sleep when none were forthcoming.

Do you have some special knowledge with regard to foxes?
posted by Malor at 10:19 PM on October 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Russian domesticated foxes have a really wonderful story --- and yes, they are indeed domesticated, not merely tame. One idea about this process is that domesticating animals is essentially selecting for the juvenile traits---floppy ears, short curly tails, nonaggression.

What's even MORE interesting is the idea (not mentioned in this video) that humans evolved essentially the same way: by domesticating ourselves, prolonging our adolescence, making ourselves social, typically nonaggressive, hairless, etc.
posted by phenylphenol at 10:25 PM on October 12, 2012 [25 favorites]


Do you have some special knowledge with regard to foxes?

Yes, I watch Fox News.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 PM on October 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


They will destroy your house, they stink even after being neutered, will never train/obey the way a dog would, they are masters of escape, and are extremely shy around anything they don't know well.

So, basically a cat then.
posted by jamaro at 10:40 PM on October 12, 2012 [39 favorites]


She was apparently rescued from a fur farm. (Link goes to further foxy mischief, not a fur farm.)
posted by en forme de poire at 10:45 PM on October 12, 2012


en forme de poire's link shows the fox being very vocal while obviously having a great time playing, so I don't think the comments about an unhappy fox are accurate.

He sounds very similar with a shoe in his mouth, bounding all over the apartment.
posted by Malor at 11:02 PM on October 12, 2012


sophist: Might be cute in the video, but foxes do not make good pets. They will destroy your house, they stink even after being neutered

Aah, so they're just like dogs, then.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:10 PM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Foxes have uncanny voices, no? Eerily between cat and human.
posted by Kit W at 11:20 PM on October 12, 2012


Anyone else wondering what'd happen if you followed the silver fox model and tried to breed humans for 'tameness'?
posted by Kit W at 11:22 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd get Americans.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:25 PM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


No, that's if you breed for cruelty.
posted by Malor at 11:36 PM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Foxes discover trampoline.

In accordance with the prophecy...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:03 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone else wondering what'd happen if you followed the silver fox model and tried to breed humans for 'tameness'?

I think you'd get Nickelback.
posted by maxwelton at 12:16 AM on October 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


I dunno you guys--it sounds an awful lot like growling to me.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:22 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounded like an unhappy cat. But the behavior was clearly the fox DEMANDING attention. But it did not seem to me they petted the fox properly. I'll allow they may be equally sensitive as myself, and have allowed the fox to train them about proper petting technique.

I met a young caged fox when I was 10. The fox and I became friends. I once watched a wild fox hunting on a hillside. I was amazed how cat-like it pounced. The cat+dog thing is something I've said since seeing that.
posted by Goofyy at 12:55 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I kept having two thoughts while watching this:
1. What a cute fox!
2. OMFG THERES A WILD ANIMAL IN THE HOUSE!!!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:40 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the fox's body language is like the wilder dogs I've known, in the petting part, the fox was wanting to be pet while oscillating from 30% to 70% on the WANT TO NIP HUMAN FINGERS NOW scale.
posted by zippy at 2:34 AM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Foxes are so beautiful. My sister works in a shop. Foxes got in one night after hours. They got into some one's bran muffins, they pooped in one corner, and left after playing with a few things.
No one was angry about it, except for missing the fox's party.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:04 AM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


>Do you have some special knowledge with regard to foxes?

Yes, I watch Fox News.


Research has shown that people who watch Fox News report high confidence in their knowledge of foxes, but score low on tests of objective fox knowledge.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:39 AM on October 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


They will destroy your house, they stink even after being neutered, will never train/obey the way a dog would, they are masters of escape, and are extremely shy around anything they don't know well.

[NOT FOXIST]
posted by panboi at 3:41 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I worked on a story for Nat Geo with a friend that took us Novosibirsk where the first domesticated foxes were bred. The foxes are indeed domesticated and the amazing thing is it only took about 50 generations to breed them. We also photographed a woman in St. Petersburg who owns two domesticated foxes and like sophist noted they really aren't a pet in the traditional sense. They do great outside in a pen but once inside they tend to overheat quickly. But, with that said, they will walk right up to you and demand to be played with and scratched like a cat.
posted by photoslob at 4:15 AM on October 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


The owner stupidly plays with hands, so the fox never knows if it is love time or play time. Never use bare hands to play with an animal who might misunderstand context with a head full of needle sharp teeth.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:16 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you drop the pitch it sounds like a pissed off gorilla.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 4:46 AM on October 13, 2012


Foxes definitely can be domesticated. Sort of.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:18 AM on October 13, 2012


Based on the video's description (put through google translate) this video is meant to show a fox being moody. So if the fox comes off her as unhappy and badly adjusted to his environment, that probably is just because this video is about this fox when it's in a mood.
posted by litleozy at 5:22 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it helps sort out this fox's state of mind, here's some recordings of fox calls in the wild.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 AM on October 13, 2012


Anyone else wondering what'd happen if you followed the silver fox model and tried to breed humans for 'tameness'?

Something did.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:31 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh my god, get that fox out of your house! All he's going to do is eat your chickens and geese and apple cider.
posted by phunniemee at 6:34 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Foxes are not dogs, but the EXCUSE ME I AM NOT BEING PETTED whine is nonetheless entirely familiar to me.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:01 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The owner stupidly plays with hands, so the fox never knows if it is love time or play time. Never use bare hands to play with an animal who might misunderstand context with a head full of needle sharp teeth.

As an experienced cat-taunter and dog sparring-partner... I'm here to state that wrassling can be a part of the play experience, but only after a few years of trust-building and boundary-setting.

The bulk of that video was a video-hungry owner annoying a a fox who was looking to either be left alone, or played-with or petted properly. Our current cat yowls like she was being disemboweled when I roll her around on the floor while rubbing her tummy, but she loves it just the same. It's part of the ritual.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:11 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


That silver fox video has given me terrible fox-cuddle cravings.

I guess I'll just make do with my cat. She's kind of silvery, too, so I can pretend.
posted by Superplin at 7:13 AM on October 13, 2012


Huh, I've always considered foxes "cute", but that noise? I had to stop the video halfway because it... Well, like fingernails on a chalkboard, I guess. Nothing specific about it I can point to (sounded a lot like a dog yawning), but... Just no.

No pet foxes for me, I guess.
posted by pla at 7:32 AM on October 13, 2012


Shhhh! Couch Vole!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:02 AM on October 13, 2012


The anxiety yawn sealed the deal for me. This is a habituated animal clearly uncomfortable in its environment. I have seen that yawn in other canids. Panting can be another indicator of stress. All in all this fellow would rather be elsewhere. Domesticated means it lives with humans by choice, let this guy loose and you most likely never see it again.
posted by pdxpogo at 8:12 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's my little fox. He's actually a Shiba/Chihuahua mix but we get fox comments all the time. At the start of the video, you can see him used body language to tell me, "put down the camera, you idiot, I need a walk."
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:29 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


That noise would drive me batshit.
posted by desjardins at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2012


What is the onomatopoeia for fox noises? I MUST KNOW.
posted by NoraReed at 8:39 AM on October 13, 2012


What is the onomatopoeia for fox noises?

I think it is usually just "yelp," disappointingly. When I was googling to look for more, I found this interesting but unrelated page on misconceptions about fox spirits.
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:40 AM on October 13, 2012


Foxes have uncanny voices, no? Eerily between cat and human.

gingerbeer was showing this video to Yorvit last night (he likes videos); he thought it was okay. Roswell, though, was completely freaked out by the fox sounds.
posted by rtha at 9:46 AM on October 13, 2012


I think the fox noise is 'yiff'. I once knew a fox furry. :-/
posted by Goofyy at 9:47 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


My cat does not like that sound. No, not at all.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:00 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, my cats went from unamused to thoroughly annoyed within the first 30 seconds.
posted by Orb at 10:01 AM on October 13, 2012


That is one conflicted animal. It seems very obvious to me that he wants to be left alone (and definitely does not like his back being touched) but "gives in" to the stroking/scratching because it feels good. But it ain't natural and he is wary and would rather not have to deal with it. I too felt sorry for him.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:28 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yiffing is something else entirely. There is no yiffing on the bus.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:34 AM on October 13, 2012


Certain wild creatures are not meant to be tamed.
The language is Czech. Knowing Bosnian, I can half-assed read Czech.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fox at least in that first portion of the video was visibly yawning from stress and wanted no part of any interactions with a human being. I didn't see any evidence from watching this that it was at all comfortable or happy in it's current set-up.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:37 AM on October 13, 2012


re: Yiff

The foxish language in the Furry Fandom was developed circa 1990-1991 by a programmer known by the name Revar (who is also responsible for the Fuzzball MUCK codebase, the Trebuchet MU* client, and the Belfry Webcomics index), originally through Revar's roleplays as the character littlefox, and intended to be a simple language for expressing emotional states:
The basic sounds are Yerf, Yip, Yarf, Yaff, Yiff, Growf, and Growlf. The general order of sounds from positive (happy, good, greeting) through neutral to negative (mad, unhappy, no), are: Yiff, Yip, Yerf (positive), Yaff, Yarf (neutral), Growf, and Growlf (negative). Murphle (a sound popularized by some other characters at the time) is a sound of contentment. The basic sound, if modified by an -le suffix, is less absolute, less emphatic. ie: Yiffle is less emphatic than Yiff. There are a couple of words that have somewhat general meaning, though the entire language is rather overloaded. Yerf's are generally used in greetings, though exuberant greetings are Yiffs. Growf means no, and a Yiff means a yes. (an example of the overloading of the language.) There is one term that got defined by someone who shall remain nameless: Yipp is generally considered not polite, as it is basically a sexual proposition.
Along the way, other roleplayers began using "Yiff" in place of "Yipp" and it lost it's original strongly positive emotion/affirmative response/enthusiastic greeting meanings, and took on the same syntactic versatility that the word "fuck" enjoys.

And yes, even at the time, Revar was well aware that these sounds bore only a passing resemblance at best to actual fox calls.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:50 AM on October 13, 2012


If the video is any indication, my sister's perpetually disagreeable cat is really a fox that's been misidentified all this time.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:31 PM on October 13, 2012


the EXCUSE ME I AM NOT BEING PETTED whine is nonetheless entirely familiar to me.

Not foxologist or foxist, but if the whining/yowl in the petting and nipping part of the video were shifted down in pitch, it would sound like my dog's 'warning, do not approach, I need my personal space now, biting may happen' grrrrrrrrr-whine.
posted by zippy at 12:43 PM on October 13, 2012


CHAOS REIGNS
posted by mammary16 at 1:03 PM on October 13, 2012


He sounds very similar with a shoe in his mouth, bounding all over the apartment.

Reminds me of a hyena.

We have kit foxes out behind the house on a rock outcropping. The kits make cute noises, but the vixen in heat calling will make your hair stand on end. They can make numerous sounds: scream, screech, squall, wail, bark, purr, and gekker. (hear it here about 1:18) They gekker when the kits are playing or when adults are squabbling. The one thing they don't do is howl. There is an mp3 of a fox purring listed on this site. I would have called it more of a trill than a purr.

I love the word gekker.
gekker
gekker
gecker
Hark! The foxes are gekkering!
posted by BlueHorse at 2:53 PM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yay Happy Screams
posted by homunculus at 3:39 PM on October 13, 2012


One morning my standard poodle went out and chased a young fox into the woods. Next morning, same time, fox sat about 20 feet from the house yarfing until we let the dog out. This time they took turns chasing each other. We could not believe what we were seeing.

This went on for two weeks and then our dog was done. No interest at all. The fox gave up after a few days. We always wondered what happened.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:33 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, this was depressing. Clearly clearly not a happy animal.
posted by twiggy32 at 1:36 AM on October 14, 2012


Fox with a conscience returns stolen handbag
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM on October 26, 2012


Silver fox enjoys special treat of marshmallows
posted by homunculus at 11:57 AM on October 26, 2012


Can you imagine what that fox thinks of the texture of marshmallows?

And what he's thinking...

Horses. I'm eating horses!


From the intarnetz: The main ingredient in marshmallows is gelatin which is an animal byproduct made of hooves, snouts, knuckles, cartilage and other slaughterhouse scraps.

posted by BlueHorse at 8:39 PM on October 27, 2012


Oooh the ears

The delicious ears
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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