Sunday, October 15, 2006

Squirrels Galore

Unless you are the kind of person who feeds the birds and the squirrels in the park, it is rare to have any up close encounters with squirrels on a regular basis. Weirdly, I have had 2 in the past 2 days. I don't know what to make of all this squirrel contact, but I feel the need to make note of it, and start watching the activity more closely to see if this is a trend or just an anomoly of the time-space continuum.

Last week we got a new baby kitten we are calling Venus. She is a rambunctious character full of nonstop action. The daughter of a stray, we took her to the vet yesterday for her first check-up. While in the waiting room, a woman came in carrying a large bird cage with a blue flannet shirt tightly buttoned up around it. After a little chit-chat it was revealed that in the cage was not a bird, but a black squirrel. It had been her pet for 3 years since she found it as a tiny little orphan, bottle fed it and kept it at home. Now, as will happen to rodents not in their natural enviornment, its teeth were getting long, and without treatment they could grow into the brain. Or something like that. I asked to have a peak into the cage. She unbuttoned a couple of buttons from the flannel shirt so I could look in, and sure enough, there was a freaked out looking black squirrel staring up at me. Later, the vet didn't seem too happy about it either.

Then this morning, there was some noise outside my living room window where we keep a window box of flowers during the summer. This summer's "dreamland mix" have all died, leaving stalks of brown, dead leaves blowing in the wind. It is pretty ugly and I suppose at some point I should pull them out. However, at night, they are in the perfect position to make really interesting shadow patterns on the ceiling, so they do still serve a purpose. When investigating the noise in the windowbox, there we found a brown squirrel perched in the box burying an acorn in the dirt. We watched it dig the hole while the nut was in its mouth, drop it in, and then cover it up. After it was done, ir ran along the side of the building and jumped onto the fire escape to go back to whereever it came from. How cliche we thought. Will an oak tree grow in my window box next spring? We will have to wait and see.

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