Week-old William the Squirrel landed on our doorstep in July 2018, abandoned by her mother when she left her cozy nest for the sidewalk. The Resident Carpenter-Blacksmith (AKA Nathan) took over mama duties and taught her to be a wild squirrel.
She lives in our backyard still, with Nate as her on-call bodyguard and buddy. As her family has grown, so has our nut budget, currently running about 25 pounds/month.
These are her adventures.
William the Conqueror-squirrel is now part of a household already enriched by Lola, Nikki, The Resident Carpenter, about a million saltwater denizens of the deep, assorted garden vegetables, and a number of wild critters living (only, I hope) in the backyard. This is the story of a squirrel orphan being rehabbed to the wilderness.
Please, sir: May I have another nut?!! A squirrel is a rat with (much) better PR. There. I've said it. Doesn't mean I don't adore William the Conqueror-Squirrel, or that I love rats (although I've kept much-loved pet rats and hamsters). Or that I haven't cussed at the occasional dammit-get-OUT-of-my-attic squirrel. If you'd like to read other stories about William (actually, along the way we discovered William was actually a girrel squirrel), check out [...]
The Resident Carpenter tried to break it to me gently. "William has a, well, er, uhm...a vagina," he said. "Beg pardon?" "William," he tried again, "Is a girl squirrel. Not a boy." I gave him The Look. "Clearly, that is impossible." "You and I both massaged his little...appendage to help him go to the bathroom when he was a baby," I reminded him, "Every two hours. If William's a girl, then what the heck [...]
Nathan and Willow, enjoying a chip snack together. There's an old Gary Cooper movie, High Noon, where this dude tries to retire from gunslinging but--surprise surprise--finds one final annoying guy to shoot. It culminates in a lunchtime faceoff on Main Street.* Willow and the cats re-enact that faceoff scene in The Resident Carpenter's office every morning. Willow, heavily pregnant but still hungry for cuddles and nuts (not necessarily in that order), meets Nathan [...]
Willow probably isn't pregnant but has eaten rather too many potato chips... I'm gazing out on the fading rhododendrons and azaleas, the dogwood blossoms and iris, the lush banks of strawberries, the burgeoning berry vines and bushes (not kidding, the blueberry count will hit the THOUSANDS this summer unless the birds get there first, and we're going to be drowning in raspberries). Don't like rain? Be sure NOT to leave your rainboots [...]
Let's say you've raised a squirrel from a tiny baby, released her to your backyard wilderness, but she still comes inside to play/eat/cuddle. One day you notice she's gotten really fat and cranky, and sports prominent nipply things on her belly. You think "maybe she's pregnant!!!!!!!" but awhile later, the nipply things reduce and she's slimmed down considerably. You'd think, "whoa, I was mistaken. She's not pregnant after all!" Right? Yeah, it somehow escaped me [...]
Squirrels apparently have a lot in common with rabbits: Willow is caring for her SECOND litter right now. For those keeping score, that's one mamma birthing TWO litters of Eastern Greys in six months. At this rate, we are going to run out of cigars. The Resident Carpenter's office is gonna look like a squirrel restaurant. In the meantime, Willow's looking just as frazzled and tired as you'd expect. If you'd like to read all [...]
This is the face of a killer. Ain't she sweet? Thanks to a genetic anomaly, Nikki is a permanently small cat who rather resembles a fuzzy-furred kitten. Lola, strikingly larger, looks like a feline contract killer yet her hunting skills are no match for her sister's. Nikki is one of the deadliest, most efficient hunters I've met; her grandpa was an African serval (Lola's from a different litter and only the great-great grandkid [...]