Last updateFri, 13 Nov 2015 5pm

A cacomixtle in the attic & a squirrel in the car: Life in rural Mexico is full of creature surprises

Every night three foxes come to our porch to enjoy a delicious plate of fruit my wife Susy puts out for their benefit. 

Do foxes like fruit? You bet. Include a juicy mango and they’ll leave the stone as clean as a whistle. They also enjoy raw eggs and – believe it or not – peanuts, which they somehow manage to open very neatly.

I live in Pinar de la Venta, on the edge of the Bosque de la Primavera Forest and a mile high. A lot of the forest animals still haven’t figured out where the forest ends and the subdivision begins.

Those three foxes give me no grief, but I can’t say the same about a certain ringtailed cat that likes to prowl around in the space above our ceiling at three in the morning. The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is called cacomixle norteño in Spanish and is not a cat at all, but a member of the raccoon family. It’s supposed to be an excellent climber, but one night I heard a great commotion coming from that attic space. I jumped out of bed, ran to look and saw a big, freshly made hole in one of the ceiling panels. Suddenly a long, bushy cacomixtle tail dropped through it, dangling in the air like a pendulum.

Even more problematic are the squirrels and woodpeckers. The squirrels have discovered that the space under our car’s hood is often toasty warm even on a cold winter’s day. Well, I would be the last to deny them a cozy hideaway if they weren’t so fond of chewing the insulation off all the wiring in the engine compartment. In case you have the same problem, try coating your wires with a mixture of hot chili peppers, garlic and onions. It works and you’ll be the only person in the supermarket parking lot who can identify his car by smell!

Please login or subscribe to view the complete article.

No Comments Available