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Old 09-26-2013, 01:37 AM   #1
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I Petted A Squirrel!

There was a baby squirrel outside on the deck. I went out and I saw him on the rail. I put my hand out to him and he jumped in my hand! I petted him for a few seconds and then he jumped back to the rail.

I put Azia in Joy and I drove to the store and bought this squirrel food. I put a handful of this on the rail and later I saw him eating! This is so exciting!

Maybe I can pet him more if he returns to the rail later. Animals are so very fascinating!

Your friend,
~Cat

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
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Baby squirrels are mighty cute. I recommend using caution when dealing with wild creatures. While squirrels are rarely known to carry rabies, they can still administer a nasty bite. Be careful, Cat and enjoy your new friend.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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That's very nice, Cat! Yes, watch out for bites and also any bugs like fleas and ticks. You make sure you wash your hands well after petting the squirrel.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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I agree with Hoot. They're cute but a bite from a wild animal can easily become infected, even if it's not rabies. I suggest you have some antibiotic ointment on hand, just in case.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatPat View Post
There was a baby squirrel outside on the deck. I went out and I saw him on the rail. I put my hand out to him and he jumped in my hand! I petted him for a few seconds and then he jumped back to the rail.

I put Azia in Joy and I drove to the store and bought this squirrel food. I put a handful of this on the rail and later I saw him eating! This is so exciting!

Maybe I can pet him more if he returns to the rail later. Animals are so very fascinating!

Your friend,
~Cat

DON'T PET THE BABY SQUIRREL!

I grew up in California. I was taught never to touch wild rodents. They might have bubonic plague, you know, that flea transmitted disease which caused the pandemic called the Black Death and killed 1/3 of the human population in the 1300s. I'm not kidding about this. Bubonic plague is still endemic in wildlife in the US (and probably elsewhere).

If a wild animal is easy to approach, it might be because it is too ill to run away. Bubonic plague is usually transmitted by fleas that jump off an infected animal. Rodents (including rabbits) are the most likely animals to carry the disease, but felines are very susceptible as well, so careful about wild cats like cougar/mountain lion/puma and lynx/bobcats. People have also caught plague from fleas jumping off the carcasses of dead animals.

I nearly had a heart attack when I read that you had petted a squirrel.

Bubonic plague is treatable with antibiotics. The mortality rate is now 10% as opposed to the 60% rate during the Black Death.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Squirrels can be good eats. They're a lot of work for the amount of meat you get, though. If you like I can post a couple of recipes.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Squirrels can be good eats. They're a lot of work for the amount of meat you get, though. If you like I can post a couple of recipes.
I made stroganoff using squirrel before and it was excellent.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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Squirrels can be good eats. They're a lot of work for the amount of meat you get, though. If you like I can post a couple of recipes.
The pelts are nice too, but again, a lot of work for the amount of fur you get. But people must have made stuff out of them because in heraldry they are called vair. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vair
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
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Taxlady makes a valid point. However, plague is exceedingly rare in the eastern half of the U.S. That would include the mountainous region of N.C.
Take a look at the following map:
CDC Reported Plague cases 1970 - 20122
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #10
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Taxlady makes a valid point. However, plague is exceedingly rare in the eastern half of the U.S. That would include the mountainous region of N.C.
Take a look at the following map:
CDC Reported Plague cases 1970 - 20122
Yeah, it is rare, particularly in the Eastern US. As I mentioned, I grew up in California, so the extreme reaction on my part.

But, there are other diseases one can catch from squirrels, e.g., lyme disease, and probably lots of other things.

Squirrels Tied to Lyme Disease CBS St. Louis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease

I also consider it to be a bad idea to pet wild animals because it might make them more comfortable with humans. Wild animals should be cautious of humans for their own safety.
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