I needed to record the story of my pet Cholu. I decided
to send it on to you all even though you might have heard the story
I must have inherited my love of animals from Dad. When
I was a little boy I was sent out to Mrs. Ibarra's to take some ribbon
to put on a dress that she was making. I lingered in the shoe repair
shop where Mr. Ibarra was repairing shoes. While I was watching Mr
Ibarra pound the shoe he was repairing a strange little animal began
squeaking and trying to come to me. I had never seen an animal exactly
like that so I asked what it was. Mr. Ibarra told me that it was a
little baby Cholugo. (Coatimundi) I untied the string he was tied with
and cuddled him in my arms. He nestled down in my arms and squeaked
contentedly. I told Mr. Ibarra that I wanted that little animal. He
said I could have him for 13.00 Pesos. I rushed home to plead with my
mother to let me buy that cute little animal. I explained all about
the little animal in detail. I told her that he had a nose like a pig
and paws like a bear and his back feet were like a babies feet, soft
and smooth on the bottom. His tail was long and covered with hair and
he had little round ears and shiny eyes. I knew he loved me and wanted
to come home with me.
My mother listened silently to all I had to say and
looked into my pleading eyes. She went to the cupboard and counted out
13 Pesos and handed them to me. I rushed out to Mr. Ibarra's shop and
brought home my little Cholu. I took of the little collar and string
he had on and fed him some warm bread and milk. He ate hungrily.
Lapping the milk with his tongue and using his little hand like paw to
eat the bread out of the bowl. That night I took him to bed with me.
He snuggled in my arms and put his little pig nose in the hollow of my
throat and went to sleep. Very early the next morning I was awakened
by Cholu. He was playfully nibbling on my toes under the covers of the
bed. I threw back the covers and jumped out of bed and ran into the
other room with Cholu following close behind. By the time Cholu could
climb up on the bed I would jump off and run to the other bed. At
breakfast he loved the mush that I fixed for him, with little pieces
of toast in it. I fixed it with sugar and cream just like we always
On cold winter nights we would be sitting in the
dinning room around the big wood heater that heated the whole house.
Dad would be sitting in his chair by the radio reading his magazine.
We had a big slate Grey Tom Cat that liked to sit in front of the
heater. Little Cholu would run around trying to get attention. Dad
would pick him up on his lap and scratch his ears for a while. Cholu
wanting to play with the cat would run and jump on the cat's back and
try to wrestle with him. The cat would sit unmoved and dignified.
Finally after tiring of these attacks the big cat would
turn and give Cholu a slap with extended claws. Poor Cholu would
retreat crying and squeaking pitifully. After a moment Cholu would
resume his playful attacks with undaunted fury. After about three of
these attacks on his dignity the cat would give Cholu another good
slap. Each time Cholu would retreat crying and squeaking we would all
laugh at his crazy antics. Dad especially enjoyed Cholu's persistence
in spite of the painful slaps. Mother insisted that Cholu had to live
outside so I made him a home out of a big box that I put in the big
Mulberry tree. Each morning I would take him his mush and toast.
During the day Cholu would come to the kitchen door and hook his
strong claws in the screen and pull the door open and dash through the
kitchen and up the stairs. Mother would go to the foot of the stairs
and call sternly, "Cholu come down here". Cholu would come slowly,
squeaking in protest, down to look around the corner of the stairs. If
Mother did not have the broom in her hand, he would dash gleefully
back up the stairs and Mother would have to go get the broom. When she
had the broom he would come down sadly and obediently go outside
When we had visitors Dad liked to show off Cholu's
eccentricities. He would take
Cholu into the bath room and put a little bit of water
in the bottom of the tub and put in a bar of scented soap. Cholu loved
to show off. When Dad would put him into the bath tub Cholu would get
the soap and busily lather the full length of his long tail. Then he
would proudly parade back and forth with his lathered tail straight in
We had a rope tied from the tree of Cholu's house tree
to the next tree. When dad would say, "Cholu come on, walk across".
Cholu would obediently go up and try to walk the tight rope. He would
manage to walk about 2 or 3ft lose his balance and swing under. He
would squeak angrily and go back and try again with the same results.
This would continue as long as anyone would stay and watch his
To show Cholu's ingenuity Dad would take him in on the
Kitchen table and place an egg, Cholu's favorite food, in front of
him. Cholu would hold the egg with his paws and try to bite it but
could not get a purchase on it for the egg was too big for his mouth.
After a few tries he would push the egg over to the edge of the table
and drop it to the floor. He then would jump down and enjoy a good
meal licking it all up.
There was a special bond between Dad and Cholu. Cholu
seemed to know the exact time when Dad would come home to dinner from
the mill. He would run to meet him and jump up and clamp on Dad's leg
and cling there while Dad scratched his ears all the way home.
Mrs. Saenz was our neighbor living across the street.
She was a lady of Spanish decent and took pride in her person. She had
a big beautiful Bureau in her bedroom with a big mirror on top. On
this Bureau she had all of her powders, colognes and lotions. One day
Mrs Saenz came frantically screaming to tell me that Cholu was in her
house. When I hurriedly entered her bedroom, there was Cholu upon her
beautiful polished Bureau. His tail was covered thickly with a mixture
of powder, lotion and cologne and he was parading back and forth in
front of that big mirror proudly admiring his made up tail.
I scolded him and grabbed him by that messy tail and
took him home in disgrace.
I promised Mrs. Saenz that I would not let him come to
her house again.
Another time Eloise Coon came running to tell me that
Cholu was down to her house and to please come and get him. We rushed
down to the Coon home and entered their back screened in porch. There
my eyes beheld an envious sight. Sister Coon had baked an assortment
of delicious pies: Banana Cream with whipped cream topping, delicious
Pumpkin pie with a thick topping of whipped cream, and yummy apple
pie. She placed them all on her cooling board in the cool screen
porch. There was Cholu walking along tasting each pie with a dainty
paw and leaving his footprints as he went along.
Cholu could climb anything that he could get his arms
around. There was a vent pipe that extended from the back porch up
passed the roof of the house. Cholu in play would tease our little
Wire Haired Terrier that we called Penney. Penny would be lying asleep
on the back lawn near the porch. Cholu would stealthily go and bite
poor Penny then with a grunting huff, huff, huff he would run and go
up that pipe clear to the Eaves of the house; There he would look
around warily until Penny would go back and lie down to sleep again.
Cholu would then slide slowly down the pipe and creep stealthily up
and grab Penny and scamper up the pipe again. Penny would soon leave
and go away to some safer place. Cholu had big, sharp Eyeteeth and
really wounded poor little Penney eventually causing his death from
Over on the Northwest side of the mill a thick layer of
dust and wheat hulls would collect from the blower of the mill. The
June bugs, that plagued our grapes and other fruits, would lay their
eggs down under that dust layer. The eggs would hatch and develop into
big Grub Worms. Cholu would go over and root around under the dust
layer with his little pig nose and finding a big worm would pull it
out of it's hole. Using a sharp claw he would tear open the big worm
and shake out the inside dirt and devour the tasty morsel. This was a
great help in reducing the June Bug population.
Cholu grew into a big male Cholugo That the people in
th mountains call "Solitarios" because they live and hunt alone. He
started going to the mill with Dad and went all through the mill
hunting rats and mice. Apparently he got caught in a belt at the mill
and broke his right forearm. From then on he hobbled around on three
legs and wasn't the same loving pet.
The young girls of the neighbors would come over to the
hedge and call, "Cholu, Cholu". Then when Cholu would come to the
hedge they would laugh and squeal and run away. One Sunday three girls
that didn't know about Cholu were passing our house laughing and
talking noisily. Cholu slipped through the hedge and bit one of the
girls on the calf of her leg causing a deep wound. Dad took the girl
up to Doctor Martin Del Campo for treatment. Later that evening Dad
told me of the incident and told me that Doctor Del Campo wanted Cholu
and for me to take him up to his hospital. I knew that we had to do
something with Cholu and this was a good solution. I took him up and
asked the Doctor where he wanted me to put Cholu. He said to just turn
him loose out by the swimming pool. I warned him that Cholu would get
out but he insisted that it was walled in with a high wall. I took
Cholu out into the enclosure and turned him loose and sadly told him
goodby. The next morning I went up to see about Cholu but he was gone
and we never saw him again.