Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

July 14, 2009


I'd like everyone to meet "Smokey"! She is a real character, has been a very welcomed guest to the yard and a part of our lives for 4 years now; so I am not sure if that brings her closer to 5 now or maybe a bit older?

There's usually around 6 to 10 Squirrels in the yard at times, yet only a few ever get a name that sticks. You've met Jigger. Others not mentioned, some gone but not forgotten, include Blutto, Bandit and every year one gets titled "Nipples" for obvious reasons.

Smokey has been like family, and if she would live in the house with us, we'd probably let her. Meadow approves of Squirrels unlike her feelings towards other Cats. We've talked about how if we ever moved that we would have to take Smokey with us; but I think we will remain here for some time yet. With that, I have always wondered about the life span of the common Squirrel of these parts. It's rather confusing really... many do not make it to a ripe old age dying of a natural death (cars, predators, humans and their constant destruction of habitat, etc). In my research, a typical Squirrel of this species can live 5 to 7 years. There are reports of Squirrels in captivity living up to 20 years. What a difference!

She is showing her age these days. Her attitude has changed also. The once ever so playful, un-shy girl is now more cautious and reserved. I miss her days of climbing all over us, sitting at the picnic table during a meal, entertaining our guests with her little "tricks" for a peanut as you will see in some photos below. My father always loved her rooting through his coat pockets for a peanut. She has been coming around a little more lately, she knows we got the peanuts but her cautiousness makes me sad. We had such fun together over the years; what has happened? Is this part of aging? Does she not completely remember? Has something happened to her through the last winter, like a bad experience with people, and she is not as trusting anymore? If this is the case, it's probably for the better. As I've said before, I do worry about some of the more tame Squirrels approaching the wrong person in their travels and end up getting hurt. Neighbors of mine have thought some of these so tame Squirrels are actually attacking me.

There are a lot of stories that I could share about Smokey and perhaps another time I will.

The only one I want to share at this moment, which shows how much we adore her is this... in her younger years we saw her daily and it didn't matter much on the season either. The last couple years have had her disappearing for many days at a time and even more recently weeks to a couple months! I realize that one day Smokey just isn't going to come back. The worst part of that will be the not knowing what happened to her. So, in her absences before, we'd worry and call her, keep an eye for her every chance at home during the daylight. I bought a clear plastic magnet picture frame, put one of Smokey's photos in it and it sticks up on the inside of the back door. I wonder if guests take notice to it or not? Smokey has always made my time out in the yard more memorable and enjoyable. Two summers ago, just after I put that photo up and Smokey was absent for over a week, I was walking over to the corner store. I am always paying attention to that around me, seeing who I recognize in my travels and I sure don't mean people. Suddenly there is this gray Squirrel on the other side of the street. I call out "Smokey!" and she came running. She climbed up the fence next to me, looking me in the eyes and I pulled out a peanut for her. I scolded her for not being around and for being out on the street (a couple sitting on their porch must'a thought I was crazy). I didn't care. I was just so happy to see her. Her disappearing tricks are conditioning me to the day, hopefully not any time soon, when she will be gone and not coming back. I only hope she is going to be another one of my furry friends that I meet at Rainbow Bridge one day...

Enjoy the photos below and see why Smokey is in our hearts always...

Angie is standing in this photo. Smokey jumped up to her from the old deck rail.

Smokey and I with a small piece of wood. That board is still hanging around the yard. This is the summer I caught Misfit (the Budgie)... there's the bird cage way down at the back of the yard.

Me, Smokey and the stick again. I like the glimmer of light above my hand in this shot. It appears that Smokey is reaching up to it.

Angie and Smokey again. This was part of our weekend morning coffee ritual. I hope Ang isn't mad at me for posting these early in the day shots.


T said...

awwww, this has got to be my favorite post yet, of yours. I just love all these photos. You and Angie are so very lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty and wild life.

I want a squirrel:))

Rob said...

Thanks T. They are everywhere... so why don't you have one around?

Sorry I haven't been around to read your blog or anybody elses. Summer keeps me busy outside.

I hope all is great.

T said...

I Live in Las Vegas, Nevada, we only have them in the mountains, and in the more rural towns.

To be quite honest with you, and not wanting to sound too naive;), I never realized squirrels got so big, I always thought they were small like chipmunks until you wrote your last post, then I was talking about them with my husband, since he is from a rural farm town in New Hampshire, he set me straight.:)

See, you teach me so much. I have always believed I belong in the country with all the wildlife one can imagine, and not the city, just hasn't happened yet.

No problem visiting my blog, I have been slacking keeping up on everyone elses too.

Rob Hart said...

Smokey sounds like a great natural pet / companion. You're both lucky to have found each other.

Jo-Anne said...

What a Sweetie!

Is it possible that she's pregnant? Just wondering as squirrels 2nd mating season here is June/July.

Teena in Toronto said...

That's so cool that Smokey would jump on Angie's shoulder.

It was cool seeing you feeding her in June at Angie's b/d party.

Rob said...

Oh yeah, I forgot you got to meet Smokey from a distance that day. Some friends think she doesn't exist. Another friend of mine still talks about her from his visit; he always says "Don't make eye contact" and laughs out loud.

Not sure if she's pregnant but somehow I don't think so.

Yes, perhaps one day you will live out in the country T.

We are both very fortunate for sure.

Now it's time to go out and see her!


Angie in TO said...

Smokey is a special one for sure. I miss the old Smokey, but am happy she is still around. She's kinda like a friend who aged really fast and has a bit of Alzheimers....makes me sad that she doesn't remember us like before.