After a long time without anything resembling a pet, an unexpected visitor chose my rafters as a semi-permanent home. At 3am 12-1-2009 a Ringtail Cat came down from the rafters into my kitchen area to have a look around. I had been hearing an animal above and thought that it was a pack rat, squirrel or some other small animal and had considered how I would get rid of it, but on that early morning while I was trying to get back to sleep I heard what sounded like a creature entering my kitchen. I grabbed a flashlight and when I shined it toward the counter top, there it was, a Ringtail Cat on the counter top staring back at me. I knew what it was because 22 years earlier while camping in the national forest, I encountered one late one night. I decided to just go back to bed and let it have a look around. A few minutes later I heard it climb the water heater vent pipe back into the insulation area below the metal roof.
Later that morning I went online to see what options I had for feeding it since I had mice and wanted to encourage it to stay and help with the mouse problem as well as provide me with a little friend. I found that they like fruit so I started feeding it small pieces of a pear that I had on hand. I want to only give it enough to befriend it since I want it to also remain hungry enough to hunt for mice. I tried some old peanut butter and a couple of pieces of carrot but it was not interested. I have also fed it apple cores and twice it has taken the cores from my fingers. It has a mouth full of sharp teeth so much care has been taken to avoid being bitten. Once bitten, I would have no choice but to report it and then it would have to be caught and destroyed to check for Rabies.
It has on a few occasions came close enough to smell my finger but it is still quite afraid of me but has overcome its fear when food is involved. Last night it came down while I was eating an apple while sitting in my recliner. It became so bold as to start to climb my arm toward my head even though the apple was in my other hand! I calmly said NO and it ran back to the top of the water heater. I finished the apple and held the core out to let it know that I was about to give the core to it. I went to the spot near the water heater where I normally feed it. It came very cautiously and took the core out of my fingers and ran with it behind my stove where it ate it. This was last night 12-12-2009. at around 8:30pm.
I am keeping a diary of the events, dates and times to chronicle this amazing period in my life. This is just one of a number of things that have been happening lately. I believe that God is behind all of this and is about to do even more including things that I have been waiting more than 20 years to happen.
I have not included a photograph since these creatures are nocturnal, for the most part and have eyes that are especially sensitive to light. The flash might be enough to scare off my little friend. You can find photographs online of both the Ringtail and the Cacomistle which is a close relative that lives in the rain forest areas around Central America.
Due to conditions that are beyond my controll,I had to trap my friend so I am now including a photo of it that I took less than an hour ago. 7pm – 12-17-2009