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 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97661116 . They had probably picked up the story from the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/29/AR2008112902045.html?sub=AR . Just today Marie blogged about this http://66squarefeet.blogspot.com/ and included a link to a really marvelous online novel, Beasts of New York by Jon Evans, http://www.rezendi.com/bony/toc.html 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.