Sunday, January 16, 2011

Talon the Squirrel

I had finally decided to name this cute (and chubby) squirrel that was one of the "regulars" to our outdoor Seedy Cafe.
So one might be wondering how I came up with a name such as that as it sounds mighty noble and tough for a squirrel.
Well, he was.
Approximately a month or so ago I noticed one of our furry friends had a rather large red wound on his back.  And although those little rascals are very quick as they scurry here and there checking out all possible food sources in our outdoor cafe I was finally able to figure out what the wound was on his back.
A large bird of prey had obviously grabbed Talon and somehow, someway the lucky guy had managed to get loose from the visor death grip and escaped.
This wound covered his whole back and it would make my day each time I watched the lucky squirrel eating and playing with the other squirrels, trying to chase off the rats that are visitors to the cafe as well.  The wound healed and left a very distinctive scar that looked exactly like, you guessed it.
A talon.
His luck ran out yesterday, but not before he taught one very important lesson to the two dumb humans that run the Seedy Cafe.
The lesson?
Listen to your intuition!!  Yes, that inner wisdom that tells you what is right or wrong...for you. We didn't and now we are feeling the anguish of what a human feels when they don't listen to that voice.
Previously I had mentioned that other visitors to the Seedy Cafe were rats that enjoyed the bird seed as much as the birds and squirrels.  Unfortunately one rat had turned into two and then lo and behold there are four little ones out and about.  With the growing rodent population came more holes all leading to under our cottage.  With the multiple holes came horror stories of what would happen if we did not do something to control the situation, as rats tend to reproduce like rabbits (or so  I heard) which in actuality I do not know the reproduction schedule of rabbits other than they do it alot?)
Our "intuition" told us to use a live trap.  Our neighbor, and everyone else we spoke to regarding this situation pretty much suggested a humane way to get rid of the rats was to electrocute them in a special trap.
"Intuition" told us both dead was dead.  However we went ahead and justified setting the trap out near one of their entrances deciding that perhaps killing a couple of rats will prevent us from having to kill many more if we waited.
Well even the baby rats knew not to go in the trap, (don't know if you know this but rats are extremely intelligent) and after four days had not triggered it.  In fact one of the babies sleepily emerged from under our cottage, scurried past the trap (and me) looking for his seed breakfast. 
Yesterday, as us two dumb humans were getting ready to head off for a morning of errands decided to "reset the trap" with of course lots of yummy bird seed.  I saw where Nate had set it and thought to myself that's too tempting (and accessible) to the squirrels.
However I did not say or do anything to honor what my inner voice had just told me.
That's how we murdered Talon.  I don't know if murder is too strong of a word, but that's what I am feeling.  He is dead and will not greet me when the sun comes up this morning.  He liked to sit on the gate and look into the living room willing me to go outside and fill up the peanut container.  It always worked.
Nate says the other squirrels will not hold a grudge.  They won't have to as I am holding it against myself anyway.
Talon had beat the odds and escaped an accomplished bird of prey's grip only to be zapped to death in a "safe environment" that he had trusted for almost two years.
I am so sorry Talon.
We will figure out another way to deal with the rats that does not involve killing, humane or not because after all dead is dead.  More importantly when one values life, it truly does not matter if you are cute or not. 
I wished I had learned the lesson without having to feel the guilt that I do because I have violated something that is important to me.
Please forgive me.