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Archive for the 'Animals' Category

30 Apr

More hamsters

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Above:
If you tear up tissue into smallish pieces and put them into your hamster cage, they’ll chew them up and line their nests with them. One of mine gets pretty fancy about it, too. This always makes me feel guilty when I clean the cage, because it destroys her fancy nest-work and has to start all over. I guess it gives them something to do tho.

Below:
The lighter grey hamster has learned that a hand inside the cage equals probable tasty treats, and thus she stands up on her hind legs, waving her front paws in the air to grab my finger in anticipation. Sometimes she even stands up like that if she sees I’m walking around in the room. She kind of looks like a mini-dancing bear. I could probably train her to walk on her hind legs as a ‘trick’, but I’m too lazy. It’s really cute tho.

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27 Apr

The new pets: dwarf hamsters

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During the early Winter I finally decided to acquire some dwarf hamsters as pets. They’re very small and as adorable as can be. These two have very different personalities and so…you guessed it…I have a favorite. The one on the right. She’s light grey, more active/amusing and more affectionate. For a hamster, that is.

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Much as I love cats, I’m still unsure if I want another cat once Baby dies - the care and time-commitment isn’t as appealing to me now as it was when I was twenty - and since dwarf hamsters are VERY simple to care for and have a short lifespan, I thought they’d be an option. I’d really like a squirrel, but, well, that’s not an option here. Dwarf hamsters are awesome tho, so I’m happy.

And no, Baby-kitty isn’t jealous. ;)

07 Apr

Squirrel opens walnut

Question: How long does it take for a squirrel to crack open a walnut?
Answer: Not long at all.

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I’ve clocked it … most open them up in about 10-20 seconds and finish eating the whole thing in under two minutes. So anyone who thinks a walnut in a shell represents a time-consuming challenge to the squirrel … well, you’re wrong. :)

25 Feb

Squirrel taking almonds

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This is that most friendly male squirrel, who apparently loves almonds more than chasing female squirrels. Actually, perhaps he’s not sexually mature yet. Don’t know. While his claws look sharp, I have yet to receive a single scratch from him or any of them. I wouldn’t generally advise anyone to finger-feed squirrels, because they can’t see directly in front of their nose very well. As you can see in the top pic, when they make a grab for it, they seem to gauge the distance then close their eyes during the actual lunge, so if you move during that micro-second you might get a nip. You’ll notice I hold the almond by the very end so there’s a bit of room for aim-error. I do the same thing w/peanuts. Everything else I toss on the ground at my feet. Occasionally if they seem too eager/hyper that day I won’t finger-feed at all.

Even with auto-focus, it’s difficult to hold a camera in one hand to get a good photo of the squirrel. Half the time the pictures come out blurry, haha.

25 Feb

Brave squirrel or wimpy cat?

… or maybe a bit of both? …

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Baby-kitty likes to sit in the sun, but the squirrels want their almonds. Lucky for the squirrels, Baby is a first-class wimp peace-lover. Don’t worry, the squirrels still run from all the other neighbor cats. Baby’s just special. I can leave the door open all day and Baby doesn’t go outside, too. Same with the bedrooms (he won’t step past their doorways). He’s well-trained.

19 Feb

Backyard squirrel #4

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This is the squirrel that was the first one to be brave enough to come close to me. I thought it was a female for a long time, but recently realized it was a male. I have a feeling it’s a fairly young male, which may account for his ability to be less scared of humans … less time to have had shoes tossed at him or something. He’s the one that will trot to the living room table to be hand-given an almond or walnut in a shell, as well as jump onto the shelf where I store the bags of nuts to try and rummage for them on his own. Very friendly, intelligent, and extremely gentle … he’ll wrap a paw around a finger while reaching for the nut with his mouth, and has yet to scratch/puncture me with his claws. At first he liked peanuts in the shell, but once I started buying almonds he fixated on those almost exclusively. If I hand him a peanut he’ll take it but then drop it on the floor and stare at me as if to say “What are you trying to pull by giving me that thing?”

If he’s close by and hears the door open, he’ll hop the fence and come running. And sometimes, if he’s on the fence and sees me walking around in the kitchen through the windows, he’ll come to the door to see if I’m in the mood to give him an almond. Which is really cute. It always makes me think of that old Mervyn’s store commercial, where the woman is standing by the window saying “Open, Open, Open.”

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That’s it for introducing the more in-your-face squirrels. From now on it’ll be general pictures of any squirrel I happen to acquire a cute photo of. Problem is, I have so many photos it’s hard to choose.

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