The squirrel saga and cat psychology

flying squirrel


No more squirrels have been caught.  About a week ago we moved the trap to the other side of the house, cos I hadn’t heard anything for a while.  And the trap had sat in my attic for a few days with no action. But.  My son and his girlfriend had been hearing them on their side, so it was time to try over there.  They set the trap in their attic, and as they were looking around up there near dusk, they could see shadows of several of the squirrels moving inside the soffit along the eaves, not actually inside the attic.  So far they haven’t caught any, so maybe the squirrels have left. Articles I had researched early in  the squirrel saga said they like to live in attics in the winter and would leave in the spring.  Oh we can hope……

There is a wetland and duck pond about a mile from the house, and any they catch can go there and have a good place to live.  And further research shows these are southern flying squirrels, not the endangered northern ones,  so it’s legal and ok to trap these and relocate them to a place with lots of trees and the safety of places to hide and live.

As of last week I’ve also discovered something about the night MaChatte acted so strange, stranger than I’ve ever seen a well loved, well domesticated, cat act.  Here’s a description of that among the squirrel saga:

I’ve discovered that the basic instincts of fear and pain are stronger in animals than love for their person, and here’s what I think happened.  Something scared her so bad that night, a squirrel in the attic making noises, running, something new that shouldn’t have been there.  And.  Almost a week later I went to cut her toenails and found one back toenail missing, totally, gone, broken off at the skin line.  ????  The toe was not sore then and she allowed me to touch her foot to cut the other nails. Now the nail is growing back and she’s allowing me to check on it with no problem.

I have several heating vents in the floor in the kitchen, (forced air heat) and she’s used to them and avoids walking on them.  I think that that night,  in her fear, she got a toenail caught and broke it off in one of those vents.  Fear and pain would have accounted for the way she acted that night, and I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me then.  I only understood that there was an emotion going on that was so strong that I wasn’t allowed to be part of it or help with it.  Those heating vents are the only thing that could have caused a problem like a broken nail, broken off in such a way as I’ve never seen before,  since all other floor surfaces are smooth and uncomplicated.

So sometimes a mystery takes a while to unfold and give an answer.  She couldn’t tell me what was wrong, but the activity of cutting toenails every couple weeks told me later about that bad evening, I believe.   She and I got back to normal the next day, the foot is ok and a nail is replacing the one that was broken, I understand cat psychology a little better, and it seems our world might not include flying squirrels.  It’s all good.


9 responses to “The squirrel saga and cat psychology

  1. What a sweet story! I wish I could clip my cat’s nails, any tips? He’s 2 years old and I’ve never done it, so don’t know the first thing about it.

    • It’s best to start early, so you don’t surprise an adult cat with a new procedure which is bound to be pretty unpopular. But if you’ve gotten by for 2 years without things around your house being annihilated by scratching, you might not need to worry about trimming the claws at all. Some cats scratch things up, others don’t. All claws will always shed pieces and that’s not a problem, but if you have a scratcher, you can make the scratching less of a problem by trimming the claws. You only cut off the very end, the pointy sharp part, cos there is tissue (the quick) further back in the claw and you can’t cut into that, cos it will hurt and bleed. I’m lucky that although she’s all black, her claws are light and I can see the quick, so I can be sure not to cut into it. You can buy all sorts of fancy clippers, but I use ordinary people fingernail clippers. I’d suggest sitting on the floor and sitting the cat up on back haunches and try the front nails. Push on the toes a little and the front ones come out, there’s a good place for you to start to see what kind of cooperation you get. Let me know if I can help more, and good luck if you’re going to do this. I started when she was very little.

  2. All’s well that ends well – at least for now. I hope that is the last of the problem. Just out of curiosity – have you started gardening yet?

    • No, only planning cos it’s been too cold here. We can’t actually plant most things till mid April and some not till May, cos we can still have frost pretty late. We had a taste of spring a couple weeks ago that allowed me to clean up and trim a lot of places to get ready tho. Chompin’ at the bit!

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