When I went off to Yellowstone, fireman Ralph Longo took in the squirrels that he rescued weeks earlier from a car fire in Queens. Ralph wanted to release them in his own backyard when he got his house. As often happens with real estate, the closing was delayed. Ralph had to leave town, in part to run a burn camp with his girlfriend Nicole, who is a burn nurse. Could they be a sweeter couple?
So I’ve got the three squirrels back for a couple weeks. Sadly, my favorite from the group, Benji, died. She has coughing one night and then next morning she was dead, Ralph said. The other squirrels were jumping on her frantically, as if trying to revive her. Benji was the one with the worst burns; she lost three back claws. Because I handled her more to treat her wounds, she was the most friendly. Poor girl.
The third squirrel, Baby Ruth, is one that come from Stuyvesant Town as a nestling that somehow got out early. Because she was a little older (maybe 7 weeks), she instantly and permanently distrusted me.
The squirrels are doing great, though they’re adolescents and eager to get out on their own. I’ve fortified their house, given them a dirt bowl (in which they instinctively bury things), a hammock and a spring-held feed delivery system. And I rotate toys in and out. The squirrels are like little kids. When they see me approach the cage they gather around to greet me, expecting a treat or toy. They should be off on their own this weekend. The only real problem with having them is that they are so cute and distracting. Though, there have been regular escapes and safaris around the apartment, which haven’t been much fun, at least for me.
In other NYC wildlife news, I went to the Shanghai Symphony / New York Philharmonic concert in Central Park. Despite the rain, the lawn was packed. We wandered around and got to see tons of bats flying around Belvedere Castle, catching the bugs that were attracted by its lights.
Where to Go See Interesting Squirrels