Sahuaro’s “New Mascot”

Sahuaros New Mascot

Deartis Mason, Sports Recorder

There’s an animal living in Sahuaro’s walls.  You’ve probably never heard of this animal, and unless you’ve been to the AZ Desert Museum, or snuck into Sahuaro in the middle of the night, you wouldn’t know what it looks like, but it’s actually our official state mammal – the Arizona Ringtail Cat, which is actually not a cat, but part of the raccoon family. Sahuaro students and staff have discovered  footprints in classes and food missing, but they did not know what to think of it. When one of Sahuaro’s science teachers, Ms. Gantt,  first came to work here in the 80’s, she said that she would see footprints and sometimes she would hear from the janitors that there was a cat in the walls or in the ceiling. “It would come from behind the cabinets in the biology lab,” she stated.

I am pretty sure everyone thought that was either a lie or they were just trying to start rumors, but nope, they were right.  The problem about this is we can’t seem to find it or see it when it comes out.  The Ringtail Cat is nocturnal, so they only come out at night to eat or hunt.  If you can call going into Auto Shop and eating Mr. Ramsey’s tomatoes “hunting”.   Teachers have complained that left fruit or vegetables on their desk would disappear, thinking maybe the janitor threw it away, but no, this animal left tracks and evidence that it was there eating their stuff. On Wednesday, the animal was actually caught on video by senior, Sha Tara Elem, in Mr. Mack’s room.  “It had eaten right through the middle of a loaf on Wonder bread. It was just chillin, staring at us,” she stated right after the encounter. 

Sahuaro’s culinary class had ingredients eaten from them too, surely led there from the aroma of students’ cooking going through the vents. In photography, there are footprints every where in that class – on desks and on box lights and we are starting to think that this “cat” (we need to name our new mascot) is really thin because it can fit through a tiny hole in the wall that wires go through and we think it goes through there because the footprints lead up to there.  It resembles a combined look of a small fox, a fluffy raccoon and yes, a domestic house cat. Its long bushy tail has distinctive, alternating black and white rings (hence, the name).  An adult will weigh about 2 to 3 pounds. Dean Loomis, a grounds keeper, let all the staff know, “So there’s a ringtail cat living in our school, going back and forth through classrooms, probably by way of attic and crawlspaces and stuff. Some people got it in their head to put out sticky traps to kill it or something. please don’t. It would just be torturing it to death and I don’t think that it deserves to die like that. It’s actually the state animal and is protected by state laws and federal laws.”   No worries – we can’t kill our new mascot named…??