Mommy Cat and Me - The Squirrel Dilemma! Chris Miller
What is a Squirrel?
NOUN= angle tree-dwelling rodent with a bushy tail, typically feeding on nuts and seeds .
VERB =Hiding money or something of value in a safe place .
I call them" my ground dwellers" when I see them playfully every day running around in our two acres at the The Three Graces Estate. Obviously, you know I mean the brown ground squirrels . They love living at the Three Graces because the food left out for the birds was obviously meant for them too, along with the shade and available water at their disposal . The young squirrels love to run around the fountain and play. I love to watch them as they enjoy a moment of fun , they are gregarious creatures.
Daily, they easily climb up to the basket of plentiful sunflower seeds for the birds. They are posing experts for photos, it is a natural for them. I think they know what beautiful creatures they are. Here is paradise with water and food and two acres made just for them. However, they are also very wary because their main predators the Red-Tailed Hawks , also claim land here.( Tree land that is .. ) These birds of prey have used our giant Eucalyptus tree as their nesting site and home for years. Their daily cuisine obviously and invariably becames Squirrels.
To see the squirrels picked up by the talons of the Red-tail is not something I enjoyed seeing . I love all the creatures we have at the three Graces . I want them to all get along with each other which is not rational. The pyrimid of life survival is what it is and everyone is allowed to live here.( Even Me!)
I believe in live and let live and a few squirrels enjoying our yard works for me. However, when it got to be 50 of them action was required. However ,the one that really opened my eyes to Squirrel relocation was Mommy cat. A few days ago I heard an odd sound like a loud muffling , worried about the cats I headed toward the living room. Out of our bedroom came Mommy Cat with a gigantic ground squirrel in her mouth. I could tell by the squirrels eyes that it was totally alive. My mind was going , OH NO !!! I don't want blood everywhere and I don't want to watch an annihilation in the living room with blood everywhere .
I am not sure what happened next but the Ground squirrel ended on my right 4th finger holding on with dear life and his very sharp teeth . The pain was extreme but I was frozen , I had no idea how to save my finger and at the same time let him go outside away from the Cat killers. Finally, the only idea I had was to carry the squirrel attached to my very very painful finger outside and put my hand attached to him on the ground . OMG it worked like a charm.,I kept my bitten finger and the squirrel ran off in one piece. Mind you ,I needed antibiotics for 2 weeks and it took that long for the bite to heal .
My problem however did not go away I soon realized that we had not a few squirrels but over 50 ground squirrels .
SQUIRREL RELOCATION STARTED
I put out a special cage just for squirrels and placed sunflower seeds inside . I monitored it closely because when a squirrel gets caught inside the cage they panic and some die. I set up a routine with a safe removal plan for them and it has worked well. My plan is just to monitor every 4hrs and then immediately remove them is they are caged. I have removed now up to 60 squirrels with minimal deaths. I quickly put them in my Toyota and I take them 2 miles away to a nice area just for squirrels where they can live happily every after. I drop them off at the same place so they have friends and I leave a small amount of sunflower seeds for them to have food as they get used to their new surroundings. I have dropped off 60 as of today so I am sure there is some type of squirrel colony now dwelling there. My partner wanted to shoot them and I found that unkind and unacceptable . All creatures have a place and meaning on earth. When I drop them off I make sure they safely leave the cage and I softly tell them they will be ok as I spread out sunflower seeds for them .
For me, every night I go to bed happy and enjoying life with no regrets !!
PS -- I told this story to a neighbor of mine about not shooting squirrels but doing relocation-yesterday I ran into him he too now is not shooting the squirrels he is relocating them . The Red-tails and other Birds of prey need food as all other creature on earth we are a pyramid of survival. If we kill all the squirrels the Red-tails have no food . Every creature makes the earth a better place for all of us with purpose and reason !