It started out as an ordinary day for April T. of El Centro, California, but turned into an encounter that she says almost gave her a heart attack. Small wonder.
Every morning Miss T. gets up, makes coffee, feeds and waters her cats, and then usually goes out into the back yard to tend her small vegetable garden.
“I should have known something was wrong. Mr Tig wasn’t scratching at the screen door like he is every morning, so I figured that he either found a new home or a new girlfriend and was sleepin’ around. I didn’t pay no mind, the other four cats were in their usual places in the kitchen, singing at me for breakfast, so I didn’t really think about it. Sometimes he stays out, cattin’ around you know. Anyway, I feed the cats, get my own little bit of breakfast and grab my watering can. ”
Miss T. says she then filled her watering can up using a hose by the side of the house, and carried the now full can to the garden.
“I was watching my feet mostly, ’cause I was scared of fallin’ again. Last time it took 6 weeks for me to start feelin’ right. So I’m looking down, looking for that damn hump that caught my foot last time and sent me to the clinic, and I get to the edge the yard where it changes from the scratchy grass to regular dirt, where’ my neighbor, Mr. Blackburn, tilled it up for me. So I set the can down, and my back hurts like usual and I try to stand straight up, rubbing my back with one hand and the other on my hip.”
The temperature that morning was hovering in the low 90’s and there were no clouds in the sky, according to local weather reports.
“So I’m sweating, got my eyes squinted up stinging, and I rub ’em with the back of my hand. I was looking out over the yard to the neighbors house where they got those trash people staying…”
(editorial edit to remove comments that could be racially insensitive)
“…and I feel this thing touching my thigh, like right here. (She indicated an area just above her left knee.) I figured it was Mr. Tigg saying hello. Sometimes he does that, stretching. He’ll put his claws right in you sometimes, like a joke. So I put my hand down to stroke his little head, and it touches something hard and kind of sharp.”
Miss T. began to get excited at this point in her story.
“I look down and holy mother of god, there’s this THING staring up at me. It’s head was like a squashed cabbage, with wiry black hair poking out the sides, and black and gray skin like it was half rotten. It’s back had these little marks or dents in it that were black as all hell, and the tails was like a rat’s tail, all naked and nasty looking.”
“Oh my god, I screamed, and tried to jump back but I was too slow. My foot caught on that scratchy grass again and I fell, busting up my hip again. It hurt so bad I think I said some bad words. Then I look up and the neighbor is there asking me what’s wrong.”
The animal that had greeted her that morning was nowhere to be seen.
“I called the police. I told ’em what I seen. They made a report and said they’d keep an eye out for any strange animals, but you know, they don’t do (expletive deleted) for us poor folk.”
We wondered, too, why the police wouldn’t take her seriously so we did some legwork. After several calls to the El Centro local police, we finally were able to get a facsimile of the police report sent to us. For legal reasons, we can’t show you the report here, but we found out why nothing more was done. In the section of the police report labeled “Nature of Complaint”, the attending officer had written “Possible raccoon or opossum sighting.”
Raccoon or opossum? With HORNS on its head? There are no known animals with horns on their head that small in that part of the world.
Once again, an eye witness report is ignored. Thanks a bunch, El Centro police.