“The Ethiopian civet cat, of the same family as the Asian Paradoxurus hermaphroditis, is a mammal, whose name is derived from the Arabic “qat al-zabad.” This animal has been utilized in Ethiopia for the production of “civer,” a secretion produced by the anal glands.
In captivity, the substance is harvested by scraping the secretion from the anal glands ; it is then used
as an aromatic base for perfume. Charles Jacques Poncet, a French physician who visited Ethiopia in the year 1700, reported that merchants kept as many as 300 civet cats, feeding them wheat and milk and harvesting the civer from their glands each week. We can assume that the civet cat has been important for the proliferation of coffee throughout Ethiopia, for its natural behavior is to eat the ripe berries of the
coffee tree and to spread the seeds in its excrement around the forests. Many wild coffee trees in Ethiopia
are found along river banks and mountainous areas, in the same place where civet cat and other mammals and
birds roam in their search for food.”
(Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry)