Friday, December 5, 2008

Squirrels and Cats

There's a huge oak tree in my backyard neighbor's yard that has harbored generations of squirrels. In the almost 20 years that i've lived here, the original mother nest has grown and daughter nests have sprung up, first elsewhere in the big oak, and then in most of my 7 maple trees. It's really funny at this time of year when most of the leaves are off the trees to look up and see just how many squirrel nests there are up there!

This year the squirrels had pretty good reproductive success, so there are quite a few young squirrels running around in the backyard. And they've taken to running across the roof, which makes Louie and Sylvie in particular sit up and take notice. All four cats love to sit on the various window perches and follow the movements of the squirrels around the yard and up onto my "squirrel proof" feeder.

Not too long ago there was a story on National Public Radio about the dearth of acorns in much of the Northeast US, including northern Virginia and Washington DC . They had probably picked up the story from the Washington Post . Just today Marie blogged about this and included a link to a really marvelous online novel, Beasts of New York by Jon Evans, that apparently was first released in serial form, one chapter a day. It's great fantasy with well-delineated (animal) characters. Squirrels are the principal actors, but all the other animals of New York's Central Park also play a part. And i don't think i will spoil the story if i say that i was so pleased that for once cats were good guys when interacting with the squirrels.


  1. We luvs squirrel but maybe that's because they aren't in our modest little garden. They live in the woods and parks though. In Europe we get the little red squirrel but in Mexico my mom saw huge, kind of fierce lokking, grey ones. Apparently they got to the Old World and are now diminishing the red squirrel in England and elsewhere...

  2. Hi Chilli and Siena! Yes, i've heard from friends in the UK that the grey squirrels are diminishing the red squirrel there...maybe because they're bigger, they outcompete them for the same food and nesting resources. There are small native red squirrels in the northern U.S. that have had the same problem.

  3. Sweethart-
    I just read your post about using Metacam for your cat with the UTI....
    PLEASE stop/reduce the dosage of this drug!
    It is the #1 "kidney-killer" in cats. Have a look through this site:

    The oral version of Metacam is NOT licensed for use in cats in North America.

    In the UK and Australia, minute quantities are approved, and only for a short time.
    The most recent study on it comes out of Australia, where the only safe dosage was shown to be 1/10 (10%) of that approved in the UK.

  4. Thanks for your concern, g willie. I did not read the owner horror stories but i did read the scientific studies, and my vet prescribed exactly what's recommended in the British and Australian med journals that you cited.