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Old 09-26-2013, 12:37 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, 06:49 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, 07:39 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, 07:40 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, 09:23 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, 09:26 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, 09:41 AM   #7
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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.
I made stroganoff using squirrel before and it was excellent.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:20 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, 10:33 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, 11:41 AM   #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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Old 09-26-2013, 12:39 PM   #11
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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.
Totally agree. Even if a given wild animal is not harmful to humans, either through disease or physical danger, you do the animal no good by making it too comfortable around humans. Best to leave them alone.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
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Oh! I will not pet him then. But can I feed him on the rail?

And there had best NOT be any squirrel recipes! Uckkkkk! The eating of rodents....!!

I want to watch him and perhaps take pictures of him. He is very cute!

Your friend,
~Cat
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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They are cute! I agree, no pat, CatPat! Pictures are good. And feeding is OK too, just expect his friends and family to join him soon!

Did you have squirrels in Romania? We have lots of them here.

We had a baby bunny nest in one of the gardens, our neighbor caught one to show to his little girls, and the number of fleas and bugs that dropped off that baby bunny when he picked it up was amazing! I would imagine baby squirrels might have similar bugs.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #14
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My BIL feeds the squirrels in his back yard, as does his neigbhor. All year round. They have the fattest squirrels anywhere. Still, even if they seem slowed down by their added heftiness, the dog has yet to catch one, although she chases them daily. They only climb to the lowest branch and then chatter down at the dog. It's a game.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:50 PM   #15
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Oh! I will not pet him then. But can I feed him on the rail?

And there had best NOT be any squirrel recipes! Uckkkkk! The eating of rodents....!!

I want to watch him and perhaps take pictures of him. He is very cute!

Your friend,
~Cat
I think squirrels are very cute. There are quite a few running around out back of my house. I would love to pet them, but I don't.

If you feed the squirrel, you have to feed eat all winter. You can stop again in Spring when it's easy for them to find food. Okay, that rule probably isn't so important where you live, but here in Quebec, in the frozen north, it's just not nice to cut off a source of food in winter, that an animal has become dependent on. Often when I bring out walnuts in winter, a squirrel shows up and puts on extra cute, standing up on hind legs and tilting its head. I never let them take the food out of my hand. I always put it down or throw or drop it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #16
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I would never stop feeding him. I believe that is cruel. We feed the birds all through the winter so I should feed the squirrel.

He has quite the appetite, however.

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~Cat
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #17
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Actually, birds and squirrels have been around for a long time without humans feeding them, and can survive just fine without our contributions. It's just fun to see them up close.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:02 PM   #18
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It is! And we do have squirrels in Romania. I was never this close to a squirrel there.

Your friend,
~Cat
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #19
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(1) It's possible that your scent on the baby squirrel might cause the mother to reject it, fearing human scent.

(2) It's a bad idea to feed wild animals because that causes them to become dependent on humans rather than fending for themselves. If they depend on humans and the humans quit feeding then they starve. If they stay self-dependent then they live by the Great Plan and they either live or die, but they do it on their own terms.

My advice: appreciate them from a distance. Let them fend for themselves.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:28 PM   #20
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It is! And we do have squirrels in Romania. I was never this close to a squirrel there.

Your friend,
~Cat
We have squirrels in Britain too - the native reds, and "imported" greys. (I had never seen black squirrels until I visited Canada and I was astonished at how close they would get to people.)

I wouldn't go near one - have you seen their teeth?

Very scary!

Anyway, goodnight CatPat. I look forward to your mum getting online over the weekend!
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