17 September 2008


I feed the squirrels. And the birds and any stray cats that wander by. But this is about squirrels.

I have been feeding one squirrel in particular since last spring. We call her Mama. She was obviously nursing when we first started seeing her, thus the name. She also has a slit in one of her ears, which is why we always know it is her.

Another interesting thing about Mama is that she is a grey squirrel who had black babies. Her babies are so funny and pretty cute. She had three of them, and although they are bigger now and certainly don't look like baby squirrels anymore, they still play and fight with each other and are just downright silly. At first I thought Mama mated inter-racially, as I had occasionally seen some other black squirrels in my town, but not near me. I decided to do a little research, here is what I learned:

"Black squirrels are not a separate species at all, but a melanistic morpheme, casually known to scientists as a “color morph,” a fairly rare genetic variation. In the Midwest, as far as has been determined, all of the black squirrels are actually morphs of the gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis."

How cool, my Mama produced 3 rare genetic mutations and they are living in my yard!

So we have grey squirrels and now the mutated black, and we also have what looks like brown, but is really the American Red. But we don't have any white squirrels. That would be cool. I'd like a white squirrel.

Back to Mama. She is no longer afraid of us or our cats. Our back storm door screen is loose on the bottom, so she often will come right into our house if I have left the main door open. She knows I keep the peanuts in a bin by the back door, so she will help herself if I haven't fed her yet. The cats go crazy when they see her in the house, but she just grabs her peanuts and heads back out. Not caring one bit about the cats, who seem like that they would like to kill her, but when they get close just sniff her tail. She knows they are all meow and no bite.

Today, I was sitting out in my back yard enjoying the day and my eldest had just gotten out of the shower. Upon entering her room, she screamed. Loud enough for me to hear outside. I came running into the house only to hear her say "There's a squirrel in my room!" It was Mama. I was laughing, eldest daughter was not amused. The scream sent Mama into a tizzy and she started running around the house. Finally my youngest daughter and I got her cornered in the kitchen, so her only choice was to head back the way she came, out through the back door. I think she wanted to be our pet. She seemed kind of relaxed and happy in the house. Of course with the current pet load, I don't think my hubby would be pleased with that.

We currently have 4 cats inside that I claim as mine. One cat outside that I feed and while technically I suppose you could say it is mine, I have never claimed it. We also have the two undead mice. They are almost 7 years old. Wild mice, we caught their mom in our house in 2001, put her in a cage (because she was cute) she had babies shortly thereafter and they are still here! There were three at first, but one was not quite as hearty as the two that will not die.

If I were to add anymore pets to the current mix, I think my hubby would leave me. I like my hubby, so no more pets. At least not in the house.

“Fairies are not always in a people-like form. Fairies are sometimes birds, sometimes squirrels. They have welcomed the children into Enchanted Woods.”
~Elizabeth Nosek~


Stephanie said...

That's cool I didn't know that about squirrels.
The squirrels here can't get close enough for us to feed them because our dogs chase them away.

Colleen said...

LOL, Back in Canada squirrels used to throw pinecones at our cats on the porch who were stalking them. And then they'd run up the tree and chatter at the cats. We used to joke that they were scolding and teasing the cats.