April 16, 2024

FUN WITH SQUIRRELS . . . by Joseph G. Evrard, Staff Kentuckian

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Well, now that the weather’s nicer, I’ve been doing a bunch of porch settin’ (you remember how to do that, don’t you?). After a while things get real quiet out on the porch and if you’re not properly creative, things can actually get to be boring. Now we all know that boring is am awful place to be so it behooves (neat word, huh?) us to find something to do to keep from getting bored.

For me the answer turned out to be cats. I’ve got a bunch of cats living on my porch. Based on demonstrated behavior, there will never be a shortage of cats on my porch, because the cats on my porch like each other so much they keep making more cats to continue to inhabit my porch. I have discovered the closest thing to a “perpetual motion” machine; as long as I continue to feed them, I will have cats on my porch.

This bunch of cats on my porch is what keeps me from getting bored when the porch settin’ gets slow. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that watching a cat sleep does not rank high on anybody’s list of stimulating things to do. And we all know that cats sleep a lot!  But when they get up and decide to light the afterburners, they’re worth waiting to see.

Now, it also happens that my yard is generously supplied with trees, and said trees are more than generously supplied with squirrels. You can no doubt imagine that given a goodly supply of cats and a goodly supply of squirrels (i.e. “rodents”) in the same place, you’ve nicely set the stage for total mayhem! In fact, I would be hard pressed to imagine a better set of playmates than cats and squirrels.

No. I take that back; “playmates” is probably not the best term. I just remembered; the cats eat the squirrels. When I was a kid, I didn’t eat my playmates. Better call the squirrels “prey.” Anyway, this interesting confluence of natural enemies provides the raw material for hours of interesting observation.

Let me quickly admit here that I have never actually witnessed a cat killing a squirrel. Either I have not been around at the right time or cats consider this act something to be engaged in privately.  Whatever the answer, I’m sure the cats kill the squirrels. I cannot imagine a scenario in which a squirrel would willingly commit suicide to please a waiting cat.

However it happens, sooner or later, one of the cats will show up dragging a squirrel corpse and then the fun begins. All cat friends and relatives gather around to congratulate the triumphant hunter and admire the trophy.  Then the feast begins. WARNING – Parental Discretion Advised – The Following Sentences Contain Material Some May Consider Distasteful Or “Yucky.”

First to go is the head. I guess the head contains the tastiest parts of the squirrel (I must admit, I’ve never tried any part of a squirrel, but if I did, the head would be the last!).

Of course, we don’t just eat the head, we must play with it first! Chew carefully through the neck so as to separate the head neatly from the body. Play with the head by batting it around the porch with your paws until it picks up a nice coating of lint, dust and dried leaves. Now and only now, retire to a corner of the porch and slowly savor every yummy mouthful. This honor is reserved for the cat who killed the squirrel.
In the meantime, the other cats are busy with the carcass, exploring every last detail of the innards, tasting everything carefully and comparing notes about which parts are best.

Now comes clean-up time. The next hour or two is spent washing (licking) faces, paws, ears, legs, rumps and other body parts we’ll choose not to mention. Then, with a tummy full of fresh squirrel, it’s nap time.  Please do not disturb…

Much later – Yawn! I guess it’s time to get up and play. We have new toys! Until you’ve seen it for yourself, you cannot begin to imagine how much fun a squirrel tail can be. We grab it in our mouth and shake it until we’re sure the fur must fly off. Then we drop it on the ground and bat it with our paws to see how far we can make it fly through the air. Hurry! Catch it before it hits the ground! Now thrash it back and forth! Excellent!

Don’t forget the empty squirrel skin (pelt, fur, wrapper, whatever).  It can fly through the air, too. It makes a good pillow for a nap, a nice mattress, a fun blanket to drag around, and a good fuzzy to tickle your nose. Be sure to leave it out in the rain where it can get good and stringy; it flies through the air better that way.

So you can now understand what potential for fun there is when you have a bunch of cats and a bunch of squirrels in the same place. I guess about the only folks who won’t agree with me are the squirrels. Oh well, you can’t please everyone.

See Ya Around,
Buck

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