Saturday, March 1, 2014

Visitor in the garden

On Thursday morning I went outside to feed Princess and noticed that Toffee and Buster were staring into the tree above them. Although I tried to see what they were looking at, it was a little dark so I left it. Later Grant told me that he'd seen the big dogs staring into the tree and we both agreed that it was probably a wild cat that was holding their interest.

Yesterday morning as Grant left for work, he saw that the dogs were staring up into the tree again. He moved nearer  and spotted a cat sitting high up on a branch. Not an ordinary domestic cat but a muskeljaatkat, a wild cat which is quite common here in Mwadui. 

Although we've seen these cats running up the trees overhanging our watering hole up at the club, I've never been able to photograph it.  I checked on Google and saw that it's English name is Common Genet. (It's known here, to the primarily Afrikaans expat community, by its Afrikaans name: Miskeljaatkat)

In Africa, Genetta genetta occurs in North Africa, Arabia, and throughout the savannah zone of Africa, south of the Sahara. 
It has been found that females prefer thickets, while males use trees more than females. (So the little lad in our garden is a - male) Because of their solitary natures, genets each tend to have their own territories; however, the male and female home ranges may overlap. You can read more about this fascinating animal here
Of course, once I knew there was a new visitor in our garden, I sped outdoors in my PJ's, camera in hand and took several photos.
The sight of Toffee and Buster staring into the branches above, made Grant take a closer look

The Common Genet is a nocturnal animal and obviously comes into our garden to sleep every morning 

 Later on in the morning, I popped outside again and saw that the genet was asleep and...

...Toffee was on guard directly under its sleeper branch! 

The genet resembles a domestic cat especially when in repose

It has the most gloriously thick, banded tail which obviously helps it to sleep on such a precarious perch with danger lurking below (oh, the genet knows all about the two dogs)

Although little Princess wondered what Uncle Buster and ole Aunt Toffee were looking at, she eventually decided it was easier to take a nap in the early morning sun

I'm linking my post with Saturday Critters which is ably hosted by fellow bird-watcher and nature lover, Eileen. You can access her blog by clicking here

I hope you're all having a great weekend. Guess what I'll be doing on Saturday and Sunday mornings, respectively? Mmm...




  1. What a cute little guy and you do have a couple of great watch dogs!! Wonderful captures, Jo!!

  2. Jo, I just love your cute doggies. And what a cool sighting of the Genet in your tree. It is pretty. It may be safe for it to stay in the tree while the dogs are there on guard. :) Great shots.
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post on Saturday's Critters. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. I popped over from Saturdays Critters so glad I did loved seeing this !

  4. how beautiful! i hope it eventually got away.

  5. oohhh wow, ain't nobody going anywhere!!

    great captures, i enjoyed the story!!

  6. Oops ~ meant little Princess ~ she has got the right idea ~ xxx

  7. That is absolutly priceless, I ove it.
    All the best Gordon.

  8. That's an awesome cat! I do hope it got down safely.

  9. This is such an interesting animal. I have never seen anything like it before. Looks like a cross between a cat and a possum (or at least the ones you find in New Zealand).


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo