Monday, August 04, 2008

Rabid Squirrel Behavior

Ok, another quiz for y'all: what were you doing on this day 19 years ago? I'll tell you what I was doing: sweating out the 24 hours before my wedding to Friend Husband. Yowza. Looking back at those pictures, I don't know how I survived; I was a bundle of nerves.

On to the title subject. Yes, I was indeed typing 'rabid squirrel behavior' into my favorite search engine this afternoon to ascertain if one of our squirrels could conceivably be rabid. By "our squirrels", I mean the rodents which live in our trees and scurry around our backyard just out of reach of our hound. The squirrels are getting quite cocky since Lucy does not have the ability to cover the entire yard as Sam and Frodo did. We saw no squirrels at all during their reign of terror. Nor during Ronald & Raymond's, to be quite honest. But Lucy has limited mobility due to the fact that she has to remain on a run at all times so the squirrels are proliferating in our trees.

Sarah is sitting next to me and just asked, "What makes you think that one of our squirrels might be rabid?" Good question. I will now answer. I was taking a basket of clothes out to hang this afternoon and scared the squirrel off the deck. This is quite the common occurrence so I did not think anything of it. The squirrel ran down the stairs, scurried around in tight circles at the bottom of them, then attempted to run toward its tree. This happens to be the tree to which one end of Lucy's run is tied and she jumped up to full alert. I don't know if she had time to bark or anything because that squirrelly rodent ran right back toward me and was halfway up the stairs before I emitted one of my trademark clarion screams. (Which, I might add, roused no one from the neighborhood nor from my own home. I could have been out there, being chewed on by a furious renegade rodent and no one would have even known. I am sad and distressed about this.)

Upon the utterance of said scream, the squirrel reversed its stair climb and, vaulting neatly over Lucy (who attempted to snap right at it), ascended the tree. Now not only do I have to worry about snakes in the back yard, I've got to keep an eye on that cocky squirrel.

So, according to the Internets, there have rarely been cases where squirrels were found to be rabid. Whether this is because of some way that they are less likely to acquire it or if they might get chewed up themselves by the rabid raccoon or fox that gave it to them is unknown. Allegedly, there have been fewer than 8 reported cases of squirrel rabies since 1950. Good enough. It would seem to be quite unlikely. But I had to come down here and find out for sure, or as sure as one can get scanning the Innernets. And no, I did not come in contact with the rodent but we do spend a fair amount of time back there so it's a good thing to find out.

And here I thought it would be a boring Monday.

1 comment:

reneegrace said...

congrats on your anniversary! :)

19 years ago... its too long. I don't remember... highschool at some point.