Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WTF was THAT??

I was taking my morning ride, just before the sun came up. It was bright enough out that even the 100 lumen NiteRider headlight was hardly visible as more than a faint oval on the pavement, so I had the Blackburn set to blinky-mode.

About three blocks ahead, I saw a shape on the neighborhood street I was riding. It looked like something was sitting in the regal position of an Egyptian cat god, but I was having trouble believing it was a cat and I couldn't put my finger on why that was so. I went another block before it hit me ...

This guy is BIG!

He turned and looked at me. He did indeed have the large, upright, pointy ears of a feline, and his eyes flickered blue-green in my flashing headlight. He did not let me get any closer, but got up and gamboled off to the right in a typical catlike, coiled-back run. He had to be at least three feet long from the tip of his nose to the end of his bushy tail.

I slowed as I approached where he had disappeared behind a low, decorative block wall. There he was, sitting on top of the wall about fifty feet away, watching me. He was in that same royal position, and I had the height of the blocks to use as a reference to estimate his size. He was about two feet high from the top of his head to his rump. His coat was gray, and had some stripes across his cheeks and along his back.

I slowed further, reaching into my handlebar bag for my camera, but that was just too much attention for him and he disappeared.

I thought I knew all the critters in Arizona, but THIS guy was something I've never seen before.

Oh yeah, and I didn't see the little Barking Rat this morning, or last night for that matter. Hmmmm.


  1. It would be cool if it was a coati, but maybe more likely to be some escaped exotic former pet, unfortunately. Unless you think the coati is an exact match.

  2. I thought about a coati, too. But if it was a coati he had a terrific nose job!

  3. BluesCat,

    I have been following your blog for awhile. I live in the southern-most part of India, where the climate is hot and humid for almost 10 months of a year. Though I try to bike to work often, I make the most of my weekend rides to sate my biking appetite. Kudos to you: you ride to work in the Arizona heat.