Yes, Olympia, that is indeed a Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus, meaning "cunning little fox"). How did you know?
One foot to 18in. long plus a one foot to 18in. tail, it's a Procyonid, related to the raccoon and coatimundi. Sometimes called a "miner's cat" because it can be tamed (like a raccoon), it's a ferocious mouser and rodent predator.
They range all over Mexico, Texas, Arizona (state mammal), the Great Basin to California and, yes, even up into our little corner of Southwestern Oregon at the extreme edge of its range.
I can tell when he's around because he's a little smelly. But I'm loathe to get rid of him because, well....I don't know how. Besides he keeps my burgeoning chipmunk population under control.
Last edited by Hallyx; 01-05-2013 at 08:01 PM.