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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

The story of Skippy.

A day or so ago, I was over defacing the page of bobthemonkey (Dianne) with another gratuitous comment about a meme she had posted, when I told her about a pet squirrel I used to have. Well, she asked me about it, so I figured that I would record the tale here for myself and anyone else who'd like to hear my adventures with a wild squirrel who came to live in my house for awhile.

One day, in February or March of last year, 1998 (sorry, senior moment there) my daughters, who had been playing outside, came into the house and got me to go look at a weird squirrel they had found. They were kind of freaked, because it wasn't acting right. Namely, it wasn't running away and it was walking around on the ground kind of aimlessly, like it was confused and it was making weird noises. I was afraid that it had rabies, so I went to go look at it. Sure enough, it was acting weird all right. Well at first I thought to kill it and take it to a vet to be checked for rabies so I went looking for something with which to do the job.

I got out a push broom and started to take the handle off to use that. While I was kneeling down on the patio to disassemble the broom, the squirrel came over to me and curled itself up against my leg. At that point, I wasn't so sure about what was wrong, nor was I as inclined to dispatch it. I yelled into the house at the wife so that she could come out and I could get her opinion on the matter. Crystal came out and looked at it and pointed out that the thing was awfully small -- probably a baby and too young to be out of the nest, really, which was probably why it wasn't afraid of us and was acting weird and confused. It was her opinion that the squirrel was too young to be away from its mother, possibly not weaned, and had curled up against me to get warm. It was early Spring and kind of chilly out. Well, that did it for me. I'm not ashamed to admit to being a sucker for small furry critters. I tried picking it up, and it let me and it didn't bite.

We took it into the house, and Crystal did some phoning and/or some online research and found out what baby squirrels eat. She went out and got it a small animal baby bottle and some formula to mix up for it, and started bottle feeding it. It was amazing how fast that squirrel took to the bottle. Crystal had no trouble getting it to feed. We got it a cage to sleep in, but it didn't really like it in there. No, what it really liked to do was have the freedom to climb up on my wife's arm and sit on her shoulder or on top of her head and play with her hair while she worked on the computer. We named the squirrel Skippy, and he lived with us for somewhere between three to five months, until we figured he was old enough to be out on his own. We kept taking him outside, and putting him on a tree, and he'd explore for awhile, and then want to climb back on my wife. Unfortunately for her, she wore short sleeves and Skippy's claws scratched her and the scratches got infected and gave her a fever, for which she got a shot and a course of antibiotics.

Eventually, after a week or so, he stopped coming back inside, but would come around to get a bowlful of peanut butter and nuts, fruit, seeds, and other stuff that my wife had started mixing up for him when she figured he was old enough to be weaned. Some weeks later than that, he wouldn't come for that anymore and apparently found himself a girlfriend -- the lucky rodent. Here's what the little booger looked like:

Skippy Skippy and Jackie

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Watch out for that

Sqiurrel Scratch Fever!

Your pet squirrel trumps our pet pigeon! Did he crap everywhere?

He did leave some droppings, about like a hamster's, on the desk, but he didn't crap on Crystal. He spent most of his time out of the cage perched on her shoulder or on top of her head. He mostly confined his business to his cage, where we kept him at night.

Re: Actually, no...

Awesome. Scroffy never actually shat on any of us, but he sure as hell did leave "marks of his passing" on our balcony...

Dude, we got Skippy in April of 98 (I have a copy of my medical records for that doctor visit for the tetanus shot and antibiotics--that was in May). He started staying outside overnight in June of that same year.

Check out the picture of the squirrel with Jackie. See the robe she's wearing? That robe got too small for Shannon over a year ago. Notice her mouth? No braces and the gap between her front teeth is still there. See the apricots on the tree? They're large, but green, so that has to have been taken in May or June before the apricots were ready. That's an OLD picture taken the following summer when Skippy was completely grown up and had his nest in the tree along the back fence. I kept feeding Skippy outside for a long time and he'd keep going to the bowl every couple of days or so.

I don't have any idea why I said "last year"

I suppose it was "a senior moment." It doesn't seem like six years to me.

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