civet cat n
1 = ring-tailed cat n. Cf civic cat n 1
1852 in 1854 U.S. War Dept. Explor. Red River 200 cnTX, csOK, Bassaris Astuta. Licht. Civet cat. Cross Timbers. 1865 CA Farmer & Jrl. Useful Sci. (San Francisco CA) 30 June 186/2, The “Raccoon Fox,” or “Civet Cat” of the miners, though said to be common in the mountains is very rare in museums, and no Californian specimen has yet been compared . . with those of Texas or Mexico. 1879 Galveston Daily News (TX) 14 Oct /4 (newspaperarchive.com), There are several civet cats in town, and they are very effective in reducing the army of rats. The civet cat has no musical talent whatever, and does not require to be tuned (with a bootjack) as often as does the ordinary house bird of that species. 1904 Woodland Daily Democrat (CA) 13 Apr /2 (newspaperarchive.com), A pair of civet cats were captured near here Monday. The civet is an animal almost extinct in this country. It is about the size of a very large squirrel . . and carries a splendid gray tail like a fox. 1913 Williamson Co. Sun (Georgetown TX) 16 Jan /5 (newspaperarchive.com), [Advt:] Want to buy and will pay: Skunk 50c to $1.50; Civet Cats (ringtails) 20c to 35c. 1937 Sun. Avalanche–Jrl. (Lubbock TX) 1 Aug mag sec 14/6, A plea for the protection of ringtails, or civet cats, as a means of eradicating rats and mice . . is being made by a Llano county rancher. 1961 Douglas My Wilderness 96 AZ, The Mexican wolf, the civet cat, the badger, and the gray fox are there too. 1961 Lockhart Post–Reg. (TX) 7 Sept 1/2, [Caption:] Killed in the eastern part of Caldwell county last week . . was this ring tail cat. . . Although there is a difference of opinion whether it is a civet cat or something else, people agree it is not common in Caldwell county. Ibid 28 Sept sec 2 3/1, [Letter in response to preceding:] I know from the picture and description this was a civet cat. . . We still hunted coons on Plum Creek but the civet cats disappeared, and this is the first I have known about in over 60 years. 1962 [see 2 below]. [1968 DARE FW Addit CA105, Civet [ˈsɪvət] cat—raccoon.]
2 also civet (kitty), civit cat, rarely civits cat: = spotted skunk n. chiefly west of Missip R, also Gulf States See Map Cf civic cat n 2, civvy cat n
1870 Cincinnati Daily Gaz. (OH) 28 May /3, The supposition is that the spurious capillary adornment was manufactured from the fur of the American civet cat, alias the skunk. For this, however, we can not vouch. 1897 Madison Daily Democrat (IN) 13 Nov /2 (newspaperarchive.com), I discovered some tracks . . which I knew at once to be those of a skunk of the smaller species, more commonly known as the civet cat. . . The den of this particular civet I found further on under an old bur oak stump. 1926 Belton Jrl. & Bell Co. Democrat (TX) 7 Jan 6/5, Possum hides always greatly outnumber all other kinds of furs trapped or caught in this county. . . Next comes the odiferous polecats, followed by the “ringtails,” and these by the civet cats. 1941 Ward Holding Hills 97 IA (as of early 20th cent), He had better begin to earn and to save, to pick up a few dollars . . , in the winter trapping ’coons and skunks and civets. 1950 WELS (The skunk) 1 Inf, WI, Civet cat; 1 Inf, Civits cat. 1956 Ker Vocab. W. TX 196, Black and white striped animal that makes a bad odor—civet cat [4 infs] . . civit cat [1 inf]. c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Civet-cat (or civvy-cat). . . A name for skunk; very rarely heard. 1961 Lockhart Post–Reg. (TX) 19 Oct /5 (newspaperarchive.com), Ennis Barrier of Karnes City also agrees that the animal shown in the Post-Register recently was a ring tail. He says civet cats have an odor like a skunk with stripes on its body. [DARE Ed: See quots 1961 Lockhart Post–Reg.(TX) at 1 above.] 1962 Atwood Vocab. TX 54, Animal with the bad odor. . . A few informants use civet cat (6[%]) and civvy cat (2.2[%]), although some state that this means a different kind of varmint. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. P26, . . A skunk) 65 Infs, chiefly west of Missip R, Gulf States, Civet cat; FL27, IA36, KS18, MO39, WA22, Civet; CA91, Civet kitty; (Qu. P32, . . Other kinds of wild animals) Infs CA52, FL7, 35, IA8, 14, VA8, Civet cat. 1971 Bright Word Geog. CA & NV 185, Civet (civic / civvy) cat 13% [of infs, rural areas]. . . This was described as smaller than skunk or polecat, which were generally considered synonymous, although a few thought skunk the larger of the two. 1973 Allen LAUM 1.321 Upper MW (as of c1950), The not infrequent ambiguity resulting from the co-occurrence of skunk and polecat is compounded by the existence of civet cat in the same Midland speech area and occasionally in the Northern zone as well. . . Its use in the U[pper] M[idwest] is sometimes marked with uncertainty, but most infs. who know and use the term apparently do differentiate it from skunk as referring to a smaller and spotted animal. 1974 Times–Std. (Eureka CA) 16 June 7/1, And there we confront . . the whoppingest big skunk these eyes ever have beheld. This is not one of the little spotted civet cats that eat on the porch with the house cats and the dog. 1997 Iola Reg. (KS) 7 Oct 1/4, Having land suited for wildlife, near a stream or wetland or home to an endangered species—such as civet cats—are key factors. 2004 Ohm Spatzies 165 KS, I caught coyotes, skunks, or a small, spotted skunk called a civet. 2010 in 2016 DARE File—Internet neOK, When my Dad was a kid, he ran a trapline for “civvy cats” (civets or spotted skunks).