Superkingdom Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Procyonidae
Genus Bassariscus

Bassaricus astutus, a small catlike creature found in the southwestern United States and throughout Mexico, also known as the Miner's Cat or the Civet Cat. Ringtails resemble cats but have distinctive markings, especially the eponymous tail, sometimes longer than the rest of the creature's body, with 16 to 18 alternating black and white rings, with a black tip. It is only the tail that will convince you the creature is a member of Procyonidae, the raccoon family. Much like a skunk, they can spray a foul-smelling substance when threatened.

Ringtails have a varied diet of fruits, agave, insects and mice. Miners used captive ringtails to great effect as mousers. I find it difficult to imagine anyone capturing a ringtail and pressing it into service; they are famously tenacious both in fighting off predators and in pursuing prey.