To answer the question–yes, the surgeon encouraged me to go ahead to Sock Summit if I wanted to first: go live your life! The answer was I would dearly love to, but with Richard shaking his head reminding me of the reality of what the Crohn’s is doing right now, there was no way.
Thus I got a phone call this morning from the hospital. Wednesday the 5th it is. (Ed. to add: you know you’re a knitter when you interpret that as one Knit Night away.)
I’d be curious to know if other city dwellers have noticed these patterns.
I finally figured out what was missing when I finally saw one doing it. I don’t know if it’s an urban squirrel thing, ie behaviors stemming from the lack of predators, or a young squirrel thing.Â But based on what I’ve seen, it’s definitely the former.
I knew it was important to train our local population from the moment they discovered our birdfeeder, and, playing the wild woman at them, I did–none of the squirrels tries to climb to or leap on it anymore, and if they see me coming, even from inside, they don’t amble away from the birdseed on the ground, they flat-out RUN. Especially ever since the day one fell off the awning onto the concrete in its mad scramble.Â Ouch.Â (It recovered quickly.)Â I guess word got out.
The thing that has changed is this: I’ve always thought squirrels were cute. And part of why I thought they were cute was the way they eat: picking up the bit of food and then sitting up alert, nibbling away with it held to their mouths while their tails are curled tightly up against them shaped like an effort at a treble clef.Â Constantly looking around, constantly being alert to their environment. Tuned in. Twitching the end of their tails at the slightest sign of danger to warn others, first just a bit while it’s curled up against them, then, as the sense of danger intensifies, in bigger twitches with their tails spread out like a flag in the wind behind them just before they break out into a run for the trees.
Our squirrels didn’t do that.Â No sitting up. No curled tails at all.Â No twitching. They just moseyed along, noses to the ground, tails listless and flat, chewing as they went, and that was that. Never sitting up at the table using proper manners. Never holding the food up to their mouths in their paws.Â Never warning other squirrels, whether from the trees or on the ground or anywhere ever.
Now that ours have learned to be afraid of me, they’ve started to take note of their surroundings, to sit up a bit, to even curl their tails. (And it looks like a bad comb-over on one that has a particularly thin tail.) Only sometimes and usually only halfway up, but they’re getting the idea. One actually twitched his–it was so strikingly unusual, and shouldn’t have been, that it grabbed my attention immediately.
Sitting up and eating with paws to mouth rather than skulking like a rat–now you’re getting there! Warning others of dangers rather than only thinking about yourself.Â Acting more like a member of a community.
I feel like I’ve sent my squirrels to finishing school or something.
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