Arizona Wildcat

The skirmish rattled me awake.    I had been raking all morning and stopped to take a little siesta in the sun.   On high alert, I cupped my hand over my eyes and peered over at the bushy hackberry trees but saw nothing.   Not even Kitty who had scampered outside with me when I decided to soak up a little afternoon sun.  This was not good.   Yelling Kitty’s name  over and over I walked down to the lane and around the hackberry trees, fearing I would find Kitty slashed into pieces by Cody, the coatimundi.   Cody had returned after a long absence drawn, I’m sure, by the scent of pecans.  I knew it was him, he was comfortable around me.  When I walked down the lane, Cody would startle, see it was me and relax back into his scratching.  But he didn’t know Kitty.

Coatimundis are related to raccoons only bigger, muscular, and extremely agile.  He carries his ringed tail proudly like a flag and loves pecans and oranges, both of which are plentiful here at the ranch.  His teeth are sharp  his claws even sharper and when cornered he’ll use them.  Kitty has sharp teeth and claws too but Cody  outweighs her by a good thirty or forty pounds.

I rounded the trees, scanning the ground, calling for Kitty but there was no little black and white cat anywhere.  My heart sank.   Kitty and I are buds…we came here together from Chicago.   I couldn’t have made it through that first long, watery winter without her companionship.   Together we endured flood after flood, squirrels in the attic, scorpions and heat.  She chased butterflies while I planted the garden and became a world class mouser.  I kept calling her over and over….Kitty!

Then I saw him.   High in a mesquite tree, Cody clung to the end of the longest limb.   Kitty!  Creeping out along the branch, Kitty was going after Cody, not the other way around!   I couldn’t believe it!   Well, yes, I could.   Ever the alpha animal, Kitty was not about to give Cody an inch of territory.   The skirmish was Kitty treeing Cody and now she was going to finish the job!

“Kitty!   I screamed at the top of my lungs.  Stopping her creep she looked down at me with irritation for interfering.   Standing on tiptoe I reached up and hooked my forefinger through Kitty’s collar and yanked her down snarling out of the tree.   Cody’s body sank down in relief as I carried the squirming cat away. 

Don’t you know that Cody is bigger than you?   That he could kill you with one swipe of his claws?

Kitty gave me a murderous look, roaring at me as loudly as she could.  She was one mad cat, highly upset that I disrupted her fun.  Kitty or Cody….considering Kitty’s attitude, I’m not really sure who would win that fight but I didn’t want to pick up any body parts, whether they be cat or coatimundi. I tossed Kitty into the singlewide and as I closed the door she showed me her backside.  When Cody appeared the other day, my dog Oro chased him up a tree.   But I managed to train Oro to leave Cody alone and now the two animals ignored each other.   Kitty was another story.

 I went back to my raking, Cody scratched in the ground under the orange trees, Oro snoozed in the sun.   Deciding I needed a drink of water, I opened the door to the singlewide and wouldn’t you know it, Kitty snuck out the door.   Spying Cody she stopped short and dropped into a predatory crouch. 

“Kitty!”   She stalked away from me heading straight for Cody.   Now Cody and I get along as long as we keep our distance but now Kitty was within five feet of him.   There was no way I was going to get that close.   I grabbed my rake and using the tines, gently scooped and herded Kitty away from Cody.   Watching me put Kitty in her place empowered Cody.   He suddenly found his cojones and boldly stepped towards Kitty.  

”Cody!”   To my surprise he hesitated.  Afraid of tangling with Cody myself I turned the rake on Kitty once again.   Kitty snarled her anger as I scooped her again putting as much distance between her and Cody as possible.   Kitty didn’t get the message but Cody did.   He detoured around the orange tree and headed up the mountain.  I breathed a sigh of relief, Kitty meowed mournfully and Oro continued to snooze. 

When I came to the ranch I figured I would have to get used to dealing with wildlife.   What I didn’t realize was that the wildest life would be none other than my Kitty.


  1. Comment by Cindy

    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Laughing while reading this while my guess is that it was not funny at all at the time!

  2. Comment by Cindy

    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Laughing while reading this while my guess is that it was not funny at all at the time!

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