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animal never seen before anywhere

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From: J Kraeff
Columbia, SC
I was sitting at the window this morning around 8:30am, and saw movement in my neighbors yard. Cats usually drink at their swimming pool, and squirrels are running around on the ground now...but it's behavior and gait was strange so I focused on it.

It was about the size of a large squirrel, maybe a little bigger. It ran from the pool, to a low wall about a foot high and in a cresent shape and instead of going in a straight line, it followed the top of the wall.

It ran very fast, faster than either squirrels or cats, like an arrow shot...but it's hind side had a slight, hop to it like a ferrit...very slight.

It's base color was a medium dark reddish brown, like our red squirrels, but it had long hair on it's tail, with black hair overlaying the's ears were triangular shaped, and faced forward set on top of it's head, and were more black than the rest of it's body, except the tail, they were about 1/3 the height of it's face... The body of the animal was more brown than black but had some black overlay...

The animal was moving so fast, I only saw it for about 6 seconds as it ran past, about 40 feet in front of me. It did not stop, pause, or run like a cat or squirrel. But it looked like a cross between them.

it carried it's tail straight out behind it as it ran, the tail was about the size of it's body...body was about 13 inches standing about 6 inches high, it's tail about 10 inches long and with the hair about 4 inches in diameter.

It carried it's body just above the ground it seemed when it ran fast, so that I did not notice the ran about as fast as a cat when they are really running.

It was the WAY it ran that caught my eye, following the top of the wall, like a Jack Russel would

We haven't has but a few days of freezing weather here in SC this year, and it has been getting warmer and warmer, all the spring plants are blooming...since I have been living in SC over 30 is about 2 months earlier than normal but it has been shortening every year...spring used to be at the end of March; this year it was midway into December that the oaks started to send out leaves....maybe something from other states has made it's way to SC?

Thank you

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