As you may know from some of my posts, the Crankee Yankee and I not only have five cats (all indoor), but we also feed and shelter the “outdoorsies.” This group consists of a few stray cats (or very clever indoor/outdoor cats who know how to game the system), the skunk family who live under the shed across from our backyard, and the local birds, chipmunks and squirrels.
If you look outside at our three-tiered feeder in the back yard, there are usually birds and squirrels on the top shelf, and a cat or two basking in the sun (on a special mat that stays warm when the cat reclines on it), and at night some renegade raccoons. When I go out in the morning and early evening to change the water and put more food out, it’s usually the squirrels that stay nearby.
One in particular I call “Fatso Fogarty.” For a squirrel, he is pretty large, and he has a sort of mayoral presence. When I come out with food, he jumps off the feeder and climbs halfway up a nearby tree to watch me. I always throw a handful of birdseed down beside the tree for him, and he runs right down to fill his face.
When he’s eaten his fill, he sits back on his haunches with his paws placed over his stomach like a man who has just done justice to a Thanksgiving dinner. He has an attitude of entitlement that tickles me; as soon as he finishes the birdseed on the ground, he looks up at me as if to say, “well? Where’s the rest? Do I LOOK like I’m done eating?”
Seriously, this squirrel has some issues, but is way too funny for me to be offended by his attitude. Good old Fatso Fogarty is one of our regulars.
A few years back, one of our neighbors kindly made us a real English Christmas pudding. The wife told me to steam it, then let it cool down for a bit, when it would be ready to eat.
It was delicious, but very rich. I hated to let it go to waste, so one morning I took the remaining part out to the feeder, broke it up and left it for the squirrels. I do believe that this was the beginning of Fatso Fogarty’s “fatitude.”
Those squirrels went after that Christmas pudding like ants on a wedding cake. They devoured every morsel, and, it being winter, it probably kept them pretty rotund in the cold weather.
From the dirty looks that Fatso gives me each morning, I think he hasn’t forgotten that Christmas pudding and is expecting another one soon.