Monday, November 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Kitties, Part Two

Tessie's turned into quite the chunky little monkey.  She's not even very food-oriented, but she is prey-oriented, always watching, always stalking.  Because of her heft, I can always identify her walking down the stairs, or jumping down from a ledge.

The other day, she jumped down from her perch in the stereo room window, and quickly made her way to the neighbouring window.  I could tell by her willful walk that something was up.  When I looked out of the window, I saw this squirrel:
To say Tessie was enraptured was an understatement.  She even brought Capucine in on the action.  Little Capucine, who hasn't even ventured outdoors since her arrival in August, is being taught the ways of the wild from behind a pane of glass.

The squirrel knew we were watching, and he wasn't even remotely disturbed.  He gave us the ole' stink eye from time to time, and busied himself by burying kernel after kernel of corn, much to Tessie and Cappie's collective rapture.  Forget industrious beavers, they've got nothing on this squirrel.  He brought over a half a cob of corn from across the street, and breaking off one kernel at a time, proceeded to bury them all over the back yard.

I didn't have the heart to tell the little dude he's burying his stash right over the septic tank.

In unrelated news, the weather "turned" today, with flurries in the forecast but no appreciable accumulation.  It's officially hard to ignore that winter is on the way.  As it was, our month of November has been glorious, and we've been truly spoiled by the beautiful weather the past few months.  If only it would last.  The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a snowy winter.  I'm not sure just how much credence I place on their predictions, but it's good for making tongues wag.  Personally, I'd be happy with a reprise of last winter, with our first snowfall occurring just before Christmas, and by the time we celebrated Eric's birthday in mid-March, we were outside in T-shirts drinking beer on the patio.  Truly atypical, considering many a times, we celebrate Eric's birthday while the snow swirls outside, or freezing rain falls.  I've got fingers crossed that Mother Nature will be easy on us again this season.

Likewise, every year is a gamble as we renew our snow-removal contract.  One of our neighbours has a snow-removal business, and we've always received the best service from them.  They're close by, they're reactive, and there's something satisfying about hearing the tractor in the middle of the night, and pulling the covers over one's head, knowing full-well the driveway is one less thing we'll have to deal with in the morning.  Eric sometimes has to go to work at horrifying hours.  While I'm an early bird, Eric sometimes has to wake up at 3:30 AM.  The thought alone makes me nauseous.  At those hours, every minute of sleep counts.  Having to take our tractor out to clear the driveway on top of going to work would be a slap in the face in the middle of the night.  Let's just say that snow removal is one of those little luxuries we afford ourselves, even if some years we have a handful of snowstorms and it hardly seems worth it.  Other years, the snow removal contract pays off in spades.

As we hover at -8C right now,  I'm not one to place bets, but it's nice to know we've got our bases covered for the season.


Miriam said...

Exactly how does the squirrel remember where all those kernels of corn are?!

I had an indoor cat a long time ago who used to make a very particular chittering noise when she saw prey from the window. She spent hours looking out the window, which almost made me relent and let her be an outdoor cat. Almost.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Miriam! The little American red squirrels that nest in the hedgerow stock-piled a load of pine cones before the winter. When I checked on the piles earlier this season, they were all gone. This particular squirrel has a big nest in a tree right in front of our kitchen window. I'll keep tabs on him. Or maybe next spring, we'll have corn growing in the back yard, and then we'll know how lousy his reconnaissance is.

I had a cat who used to chitter as well. He'd sit in the window near the bird feeder, transfixed. It was hilarious to watch.

Little Capucine bolted outside the other day. The lure of the out-of-doors is too great for her. I corralled her, and we'll try and keep her in for the winter. Next spring, we'll see. Both she and Tessie are totally camouflaged, so I'm hoping this will help their longevity.

Ron said...

Ha! Great photos! Those little guys look busy as can be. :)

Shim Farm said...

Ron, that little squirrel was SO busy, it was nice to watch. The cats enjoyed themselves, too, LOL.

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