Saturday, March 29, 2014

The squirrel lady...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

You know how most families have that "crazy cat lady"? Aunt or cousin, you shake that family tree hard enough one will fall out.

Not us, we have "the squirrel lady", and it's my Mom!

One of my earliest memory's from the time I was about three was of a squirrel coming up to our storm door on a sunny summer day and scratching to get my Mom's attention so she'd bring him a cookie!

Eventually she had me out there hand feeding the little critter.

When we moved to Waterford, she really put out the welcome mat...bird feeders, squirrel feeders, birdbaths, you name it. 

For years she was content to watch and feed them...
Until one afternoon after a spring storm her boyfriend found a baby squirrel that had fallen from it's nest.

Almost hairless, eyes not even opened yet...I thought surely it would die.

But my Mother was determined to save it!
She made a makeshift nest by shredding and old towel, and putting it over a heating pad in a cardboard box. At first she fed it with an eye dropper, as it grew a bottle for small animals. It not only survived, it thrived.

At the time they were deeply involved watching in the HBO show " The Sopranos" so my Mom decided to name him Paulie Walnuts after the character of the same name played by Tony Sirico.

This just cracked my mother up!!!

Well within a year she had a full grown fox squirrel as a pet!

She bought a large parrot cage to put him in at night and when she was at work...otherwise the thing would ride around on her shoulder.

She cut some tree branches so he'd have limbs to run and climb. She made a kind of hammock/sling from an old bath towel for him to sleep in, and lined the bottom with shredded newspaper.

And this bushy tailed rat lived like a king!!!

Let me tell you this squirrel ate better than most people I knew!!! She bought him FRESH corn on the cob, because he wouldn't eat frozen! She bought him mixed nuts from the produce section of the grocery store, and then would take the nutcracker and crack the nuts so he could "get into them easier, otherwise it's too hard."

"TOO HARD?!? Mom, he's a freaking SQUIRREL!!! It's what he DOES!!!" Good God, there was no talking to her about it.

One day she calls me up and asks me if I can find online,some offbeat brand of individual cup applesauce...when asked why this particular brand she tells me:

"Well, I used to buy it at Big Lots but they don't sell it anymore"

"But why that brand? Don't you guys like Mott's, or Musselmans?" I asked.

"Oh it's not for us, it's for Paulie! He won't eat those other ones..."

"Sounds to me like he doesn't want applesauce very damn bad..."

"He's very particular..."

"Ma, he's a squirrel...for Gods sake!!!"

I even got accused of poisoning him once...
For having the temerity to buy my Mother a Calla lily for Easter! She called me in tears, evidently calla lilies are extremely caustic and when Paulie ate some of the leaves it burned his mouth and throat so badly he could not eat!!!

Apparently I should have known this...and not bought her a poisonous plant.

"Well I didn't think you'd let the damn squirrel eat the calla lily Mom...why would I?"

"He just wanted to try it....and now he might die!!!"

He didn't, Mom pulled him out of that too by mixing cooked veggies and milk into a "soup", loading it into a cocktail straw and trickling it down his throat until he recovered enough to eat on his own!

She told any and everyone that would listen about old Paulie Walnuts. I still meet people who tell me they know my Mom because of that damn squirrel!

When her longtime boyfriend was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, they got a dual headstone...with a squirrel between them.

Paulie lived to the ripe old age of 9, quite old for a squirrel...and when he passed she had him cremated.

With plans to have him placed in the coffin with her when her time comes...yep "crazy squirrel lady"!

She still feeds the neighborhood squirrels... Peanut butter sandwich cookies!

I asked her if her plan was to make them so fat she'll be able to run down another one? They can barely climb trees anymore...poor things.

Hope you all have a great Saturday!

Be Well!

Beastly Bear


  1. What a sweet story! I think squirrels are adorable but most everyone I know thinks they are pests. Sorry about your mom's boyfriend though. :(

  2. I think they taste great in a stew!!! Lol
    I used to tell my mom that and she'd get sooooo mad!!!

  3. I think that's awesome. How very cool and sweet of your mother. I'm happy Paulie had such a wonderful life, so many of his family end up splat in the streets. :/

    1. He lived a life few squirrels ever have!!! That much is true...

  4. That was a lovely story. You don't meet too many folks that have a squirrel for a pet! ♥

    1. Thanks Kathy! He was a mean little bugger with everybody but my Mom!