Well I am back home after a week with the parents during the holiday. I love them dearly, but the stress almost killed me. Really! I had all those stress related problems that I have not had in almost 8 years since I left a really bad job situation. So that is one reason why I despise holidays.
I am looking for a laptop / notebook computer, but the problems I had over the weekend kind of put that on hold. I need something I can download my digital photos on.
I took Stubby, my flying squirrel, with me on the trip up to my parents. I wondered if he recognized the familiar territory he was born at? All his brothers and sisters have gone to another 40 acre site in the past month since they no longer have the trees at my parents house. (Thanks to the 2004 hurricane season.)
So my little three-legged squirrel is the last of the family that I have. He has a small travel cage that sits on the car seat next to me. When he gets to his destination, he is moved to a much larger cage with room to move around and branches to climb. Even with missing a back landing gear, he still tries to climb around as much as he is able, so that is good exercise. He is looking fatter and healthy!
So coming back down south, I stopped for lunch on a park at the north shore of Lake Okeechobee. There are a lot of new grassy land areas that were not there in previous trips. The lake is drying up and turning to a prairie. Stubby came out of his box and climbed around the cage. He looked out the window like he was wondering what was going on, and where he was going? He looked curious, but very confused that the cage was shaking all the time as I was driving. Since I had stopped for a break, he decided to come out and look around while everything had become still. When I started moving again, he watched for a little bit and dove back in his box and was silent the rest of the trip. That highway 78 near Ortona is so bumpy it probably scared him bad.
When I got home, first thing I did was put Stubby back in his old, familiar cage. He came out for a drink but looked a bit tramatized from the ride. He was a little skittish and dove back into his box after taking a drink. But that soon passed and he has been his usual playful self, easily coaxed out the box and accepting pats on his soft fur.
The squirrels were always there since they moved into the house in 1966. We raised a few orphan ones that the cats would bring home and started visiting them when we released them. About 15 years ago we set up an aviary to put them in when a very good hunter cat depopulated the neighborhood squirrel population. We decided to do that after the cat killed a mother squirrel who was lactating (sp?) on Christmas eve. Our captive squirrel population grew but my father was unable to take care of them in the last few months due to health issues. The hurricane took out the trees 3 years ago, so we found a wildlife rehab place that had 40 acres to put them on. That is the short version. Chris