Squirrel limping on right front forepaw. Keeps setting it down and picking it back up hastily, not putting any weight on it. While he* can rest the paw on the ground, or the rim of the water dish, and it doesn’t look swollen or bloody, there’s definitely something goin’ on.
*sigh* If he comes back tomorrow, he’ll get a name and join the ranks.
The squirrel with the weird raw patch on its belly–I balk at calling it “Cessy”, I just can’t do it–was back this weekend. The thingy’s still there. I got some photos, but haven’t pulled ’em off the camera yet.
It occurred to me that there may be a third explanation for the Defective Wildlife Zone–since I do occasionally lose track of squirrels, it’s possible that I do not so much have hundreds of mutant squirrels as a half-dozen Inspector Clouseau-esque squirrels. Notch, for example, had his ear mostly healed last I saw him, there’s no reason he couldn’t have healed up long enough to be unidentifiable and come back with an abccess. Stumpy…okay, Stumpy’s got a 99% chance of having gone to the Great Unbaffled Birdfeeder In The Sky, and I don’t think their tails grow back, but Lumpy, having lost the lumps and the scars mostly vanished, could then injure a foot and be limping around the feeder, looking like a fresh defective squirrel.
Gimpy’s marked for life, obviously, (and is dangling in midair by his good hind foot and one hand, shoving seeds from the finch feeder into his mouth as we speak) and I suspect Scarface’s distinctively villianous visage is permanent. But I can’t swear to some of the others. And of course, while *I* know that I’m not doing it, if I were, say, a reader of a suspicious turn of mind, I’d probably also suspect me of having some kind of freaky tree-rat version of Munchausen-by-proxy. But I’m not copping to anything unless they promise to name the variant after me in the medical books.
*This is the default pronoun in this case, and not a result of me actually peering beneath a squirrely tail