While the caretakers in the Church of the Sacre-Coeur were going on their rounds late on Monday nightreported the The New York Herald (European Edition) in early September 1891 (13 years after construction on la basilique du Sacré-Cœur was started and 23 years before it was completed),
they were startled by a strange noise which seemed to come from behind the high altar. Suddenly something leaped on the altar, overturned the candles, and disappeared. By the light of the lanterns appeared the shadow, not of a Socialist, but of a fantastic-looking animal with a tail. Yesterday morning the curé of Montmartre found fifteen of his chickens strangled, and in a corner of the fowl house a fox was crouching. The animal was of course taken before the Commissary of Police, who condemned it to death.
— The New York Herald, European Edition, Sept. 9, 1891