Sunday, January 17, 2010


Over the Christmas break the administration at Clemson University in South Carolina, in the true spirit of the season, took the initiative to kill 200 squirrels.

Apparently Mr Barker--the head honcho--thought squirrels were just too danged destructive and so he spent a bunch of college money to off the little buggers. Ya know, people kill critters all the time for their own personal enjoyment--or because they just get in their way. Humans are piss-poor stewards of the planet. One of these days when God realizes he screwed up giving us dominion over the animals, we will be in SUCH deep doo!

I found out about the great Clemson squirrel massacre from the Chicago Sun Times online. There were comments following the article--not many--mostly individuals who were appalled at the executions-- EXCEPT for idiotboy. That's his moniker--for real-- and of course when somebody actually fesses up in public that he's an idiot I'm thinkin that's pretty good evidence proving his point. So idiotboy just couldn't understand why anybody would make a fuss about a bunch of squirrels. He was callous and abusive to those folks who thought the "culling" (extermination by any other name) wasn't thought out very well. He admitted he was a Clemson alumn (maybe that says something right there). I'm thinkin his handle says it all--IDIOTBOY!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Our house isn't big. It's a 1950-something brick ranch--three bedrooms--small by today's standards--and a bath and a half. It's fine for two semi-retired people. Thing is, we're two semi-retired people, a very nice cat some chickens and a squirrel.

The cat owns the place and is a fine landlord. The chickens have their own condominium out back and even if there ARE some dicey relationships between the roosters, the neighbors and each other, they're solved by keeping the roosters inside at night so there's no crowing issues in the morning and a strictly monitored schedule of who's turn it is to walk about with the girls. Loser stays in the crate until his turn the next day.

Then there's Kibbles--who is no longer a micro squirrel, sleeping most of the time and waking to snuggle and break hearts. She's a squirrel--a full figured specimen of female squirreldom--inquisitive, funny, achingly cute, opinionated, fast, playful, messy and destructive as they come. She has left her mark on windowsills, furniture and my hands. She has also left nuts all over the house--under newspapers, inside bags, tucked away in fabric and blankets, pillows and drawers, buried in every pot of dirt that once held a healthy house plant and in the corners of most windows. There's not a shelf in the tiny room that WAS my sewing room, until Kibbles took it over, that doesn't have nuts behind the books. There's nuts under the Murphy bed, on top of computer equipment, tucked into the shelves of the closet or even a small pink mitten belonging to one of the children at nursery school.

I guess if you gotta be nuts about something, it may as well be a little critter who gives you plenty of nuts in return. Thanks Kibbs!

Kibbles is on You Tube now!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


It's Christmas Eve and when the yard squirrels wake up in the morning there will be a basket of goodies beneath their tree. For my Kibbles there will be green pepper slices and sliced mushrooms--grapes and snap peas--and of course nuts--shelled for instant gratification and whole for hiding in the million and one places she keeps her stash. I know that this coming year I'm gonna get conked in the head by a constant supply of squirreled away nuts.

For my girl, every day is Christmas. She's snug in her saucer now--her little fleece hidey-hole--warm and safe from predators. She's on her back--head peeking out--sleepy eyes drooping. She is heart meltingly cute. Her little hands are folded like a child's and when she tucks in to sleep her tail will fan over her like a blanket.

I've had children--watched them grow up and move away. Sometimes I hear their young voices in dreams and when I wake up there's an ache for those childhoods past. If Kibbles decides she isn't cut out for the life of an inside squirrel I love her enough to set her free, but oh it's gonna hurt.

For now, it's Christmas Eve and I'm blessed with Kibbles--burning into my heart with her trust, her absolute joy for life and the vision of her sleepy face looking right at me. I don't know if animals like Kibbles love but I'm betting they do in their own perfect way. All is calm. All is bright. Sleep in heavenly peace little girl.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


She wrestles with her blanket and scabbles after her toys. She's gnawing her tree into toothpicks and breaking off her twigs. She is BORED!

RUN! CLIMB! JUMP! Mom--let me OUT!!!!!!! My baby is out of reach till I get healed up from some surgery and she is NOT happy about it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Squirrels were designed to be outside, climbing trees, living off the land, romping with other squirrels. But sometimes something goes wrong. Kibbles would have had a regular squirrel life if she hadn't got washed out of her nest when she was brand new.

So my girl is a hot house squirrel and when she exited the screened porch yesterday through a hole one of the yard squirrels made in the screen, all I could think of was the night to come and of my baby in the cold--shivering and hungry--or worse, as a meal for a neighborhood cat or the hawk that haunts this area.

Kibbles had vanished into the back yard. Gone! Fall leaves and gray tree trunks camouflage a squirrel perfectly. The dappled patterns of sun and shadow play games with eyes on the lookout for any movement that might be a little animal. The day left and evening moved in--still no Kibbles. One last turn around the yard by flashlight and it was time to go to bed--way past time. That night ticked by with visions of scary things dancing in my head. Stupid to be so insane about a critter who would likely not only survive just fine with the yard squirrels but next spring produce pups to expand the population. But she isn't a yard squirrel--doesn't have yard squirrel skills or yard squirrel fear. She's my little buddy--and we're her tribe. Her instincts are all squirrel, but her nurture is all human.

My feet were cold and my eyes were puffy from not enough sleep. My heart was just where it had been since I found the hole Kibbles escaped from--in my throat--when I looked out onto the screened porch early the next morning. I'd left the back door open and the light on all night. The chairs were still covered in towels. There was dirt on the porch from the plant Kibbs had savaged the day before she went AWOL. The chickenwire I'd bought at Home Depot to secure the porch was laying where I'd dropped it. The porch was just as deserted as it had been the night before. Then the towel moved.

Didn't take but a second for the world to be right again. Feet warmed up, heart went back where it belonged, eyes sharpened right up and zeroed in on the little lump burrowing under the favorite towel where Kibbs likes to snooze. She was home-- starving and cold--but home.

Right now she's asleep in the hood of my jacket. I wonder if she's dreaming about climbing the skyscrapers out back again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Kibbles the "wild" squirrel

Last night a particularly bad guy got his cumuppence by lethal injection here in Virginie. He killed a bunch of people and would have killed more if he hadn't been stopped. I'd say he got what he deserved.

Here in Virginia it's illegal to have a house squirrel--a pet (not that any squirrel is a pet like a dog or a cat is a pet.) If the squirrel police came to my door and saw my little Kibbles curled up in the hood of my coat, she would be taken away and euthanized--or given to a stranger to be turned lose in the much feared great outdoors. She wouldn't even get a trial. She would just be taken away and disposed of. It wouldn't matter that she spends her days playing with her teddy bears (formerly MY teddy bears). There would be no consideration for the fact that she would have been released had she shown any proclivity towards her "wild" side. Apparently Kibbles' best interests would be determined by "the rules" without regard to the words "best" or "interests." No common sense would intervene on behalf of a gentle little squirrel who has been cared for since she was a couple of days old with HER health and well being in mind, and who is as much a part of this family as is Tyson, the family cat.

So define the term "wild." Certainly the offed murderer qualifies as a "wild" animal. But Kibbles just doesn't seem to fit into the same category.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


They aren't exactly friends--but not
enemies either

Tyson loves squirrels. The backyard squirrels are some of her favorite toys. Little buggers are too damn fast tho. When Kibbles was tiny, the box she was in smelled interesting but whatever was inside wasn't worth the time it would take Tyson to investigate it. Even when Kibbs eyes opened and she moved to the more spacious accommodations a cat carrier provided, there wasn't much feline interest. Then Kibbles got more active and took over the cage that used to be Miss Piggy's. When the old Guinea Pig died--a good year and a half after a normal pig's lifespan--the cage was washed and retired till Kibbles came along.

When Tyson joined the household she was 3 days old and the portly pig was huge compared to her three and a half ounces. Even when Tyson grew into a good size cat, Miss Piggy was always ahead in the pecking order. Now Kibbles occupies the pig palace and Tyson is just not sure what kind of a pig Kibbles is.