Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Girls and Squirrels


It’s been on my mind to get cracking here. It’s already 8:30 p.m. and I’m not finished writing this piece I decided to serve two hours ago. I should quit now and finish tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or next week and take some time to work on the writing skills I've lost.

Impossible. I’ll do it now. The stories I’d like to tell are becoming dated and the photos I adore from late spring and mid-summer need to be shared before the first frost. The pressure is on and I want to regain some focus.

When I arrive home from work on Tuesdays I stay at home. Although the fitness center tempts me to come out and play, I know I need a night to cook, work around the yard, and do some laundry. Wandering and doing nothing is nice, too. Tonight, I’m thinking about what’s been going on with The Licker Sisters.


There was a young squirrel, you see, and Bella found it. There’s something wrong here. Those ears should belong to the old squirrel master, the other Licker Sister - Chloe. Bella hasn’t learned to view squirrels as intruders but she’s on alert in this photo. I blame her ignorance from spending her learning years in Delaware on a treeless acre. And, she's naturally and very sweetly, ignorant.

During Chloe’s learning years in Maryland, the girl sat under our sixty-foot tall Weeping Willow for hours, daring the “quirrels” to come down and play with her. I dangled leftover pork chops before her to lure her inside. She never nabbed a squirrel but that’s alright. That failure doesn’t diminish her skills in catching a European Starling in flight, mutilating and eating it, romping with and chewing the back of an Eastern Box Turtle, capturing a young wild rabbit not once, but several times. To that list add several moles. I was able to save the Eastern Box turtle – a story that will be told on another day. Her tendencies to hunt and stalk prey didn't please me much.

Next door neighbors Greg and Celeste at their kitchen window. "Greg, c'mere and look at Chloe running full speed with the remote control in her mouth! Mary won't catch her but she's trying...(hooting and knee-slapping)" Heh.

I wanted to find the Quirrel Girl and hope she’d enjoy Bella’s find!


Awww, Chloe. I have a surprise for you. (Knot in throat, wishing she could remember her years of fun. Remember with me, Chloe.)

Shhhhh… Be very quiet. There’s a quirrel out there!


I think I smell my woman. Yes, mother is here. I wonder if she has cheese or something I like in her pocket.


She doesn’t hear me when I hold her head in my hands and tell her nice things. When our noses rub, she knows what I mean.

Chloe, let’s go! Come on, Quirrel Girl.

Behind her ears, I lay my face on her neck and make announcements.


I see you now. Did you say...quirrel?

Chloe is in her fifteenth year. I celebrate and grieve every day. She’s not well. No, she isn’t and at the same time, she’s good. Her body is very lean, so when I smile at the bounce in her step, all is well. When she tiptoes to the dinner table to beg for a taste, all is well. A visit to the emergency vet in June was scary, but we'll get through - with her.


She found the party.


Did she see the squirrel? Nah... She felt it and wiggled. I'll take that!


I slid my hand under the window with a little offering. I couldn’t help myself.


Susan Gets Native said...

My heart aches for you, Mary. And a smile appears on my face because that much love brings joy. I'm approaching the same story with Nellie, but we aren't there yet. They will tell us, won't they?
Sending you much love and a fierce hug tonight.

A New England Life said...

Oh Mary, Chloe's sweet face made my heart ache for you. I know you treasure everyday, as we should throughout their sweet lives.

It's nice to see you blog again. Your posts are still some of my favorites.

Hugs to you my dear friend.

Anonymous said...

Dear, sweet, Chloe. I know your fear, your sadness as well as the happy moments. Our Missy was probably 12... since she was adopted we never knew her exact age. She left us on July 22nd this year and we fear that our sweet Handsome is grieving for her. Such a sensitive soul.

Pets keep our hearts soft. They teach us a great deal about love.

Dear, sweet, Chloe....

Sending a hug your way tonite.

Jayne said...

(((Mary))) Even if she can't hear you any longer, she'll always know how much she was loved. We've missed you here my friend. Know you are thought about with warmth and love.

Nina said...

Some senses fade with age... touch becomes even more powerful.
Chloe is a lucky lucky girl.
She feels loved.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mare, it's so hard isn't it? Chloe's a sweet old girl who enjoys napping in a warm sunspot. She's had a good life with you and more good days still ahead. I know you will cherish every one. Hugs to you and the Licker Sisters.

possumlady said...

Those cloudy eyes, that grey muzzle...I know it well. Such a sweet, sweet girl. Good to hear from you again!

Caroline said...

You go ahead and save those spring pictures till after the first frost or first snow! We'll all need that reminder that spring will come again soon when we are digging out sweaters and wooly socks.

JeanMac said...

Mary, smiles and tears as I read your post. Bless her heart.

Rose said...

Dear Chloe...I have been wondering how she has been. So sad to see her age, but she is in loving hands and I'm sure she knows just how much you love her. Take care, Mary, and give her an extra hug for me.

Mary Lee said...

Oh, Chloe is such a dignified grandame! Makes my heart ache for you. Miss Piggy is 14. I know.

Yeah, I feed the squirrels all the time... unwillingly, of course. They got all my strawberries, all my tomatoes, and are now working on the peaches and figs.

They have blue eyes?

Catbird said...

So glad to see this post, Mary! I'm sorry I didn't find it sooner; your writing and beautiful pictures resonate so much with me.

Your beloved Chloe may not hear, but I know she feels you. I love the announcements behind the ear -- I'll try that when I next see Issac, my friend Patty's 15-year-old Schnoodle. He's blind, he's deaf, and he frets when he can't find her. Yet he still manages to make a beeline for visitors, sit at our feet, and sigh. The sigh that says "Lady, you gotta help me. They don't feed me, they don't pet me, they don't love me." Then the paw comes, as if he's tugging on my sleeve. He smacks his lips. "Pleeeeeze." He's still her Small Grey Boy. And Chloe will always be your Quirrel Girl.

dguzman said...

*sniffle!!!* Oh Mary. Like Susan says, she'll tell you when she's ready. Until then, just love love love her!

littleorangeguy said...

Oh Mary, I know just how hard this is. And I am sure that Chloe remembers. Everything.

littleorangeguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minerva said...

Aww..Chloe. Such a sweet girl. Looks like she can still find that coveted sun spot for a nap. That's always a good sign.

Julie Zickefoose said...

OK, I'm bawling--that close-up of her dear sweet face did me in. I'm staying with friends who have a 9-year old Border Terrier--and they're already looking for an understudy. This is a stellar and very sweet post. I'd be feeding that quirrel, too.

Beth said...

Hugs to you dear friend. My heart is aching for you as tears run unchecked. Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures of your girls.

Anonymous said...

Sniff sniff. I have to stop the tears or my co-workers will wonder what's up.
Chloe's eyes say it all. She is so sweet. I know she will have all the love and kisses she deserves for the remainder of her life. I also agree with Susan. Chloe will let you know when it's time.
Lynda from facebook.