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We’ve had visits from the other furry inhabitants of the Court recently, the squirrels.  There are a number of  squirrels

One of the Oak Court Squirrels

that live in the pines around the court; probably more than the dozen we’ve been able to identify.   The cats are not too concerned about the squirrels, it seems.  One would think felines would attack (or at least chase) the varmints out of the yard.  The Oak Court Cats don’t chase them off; they don’t defend their territory at all.  They just sit there as the squirrels scamper around the yard.

I tried to figure this strange behavior out, googled a number of sites, asked my vet as well.  At one point I even contacted the county agricultural office to see if they could explain this behavior and was not able to get an answer.  On more than one occasion I was told “Cats chase squirrels”.    But they don’t.  At least here they don’t.

Now, the squirrels come here for a reason.  Peanuts.  We will occasionally toss them a peanut.  Now don’t go wild and call someone and complain; we toss out roasted but not salted peanuts only.  Don’t want to be accused of causing high blood pressure amongst the squirrel population.

This has gone on for a few years now and the cats get along with the squirrels; there’s been no attacks that we know about.

Lately we’ve noticed the squirrels have become a bit more aggressive.  2 of their community have been seen sneaking into the house, searching for the peanut stash.  One of them, probably the ring leader, actually climbed up on the sofa. (One of the cats was there and didn’t move at all). Others have taken to standing on the picnic table staring at the back door, sometimes standing on the back step, watching us as we walk around the kitchen.

I’ve been in the garage doing the laundry and have experienced that  feeling you get when you know you’re being watched.  Yes, a squirrel was be up in the rafters staring down at me.

Scene of the attack

It was inevitable, at some point they would attack the house and find the peanut stash.  A week ago they made their way in and found the peanut bucket.  I arrived home from work that evening to find the remains of a 2 pound bag of unsalted roasted peanuts scattered across the kitchen floor and a trail leading out the back  door.

You can’t seem them in the picture, the Oak Court Cats.  They were not there, anywhere.  As far as I know they helped the squirrels to the peanut stash, probably held the cat door open so they could come in  and make off with the nuts.

We’re a little more careful after this assault. The peanut stash is now kept behind a closed pantry door. We try to chase the squirrels away from the back when we see them begin to congregate.

Will this work? probably not.  The Oak Court Cats probably don’t see the squirrels as a threat.  After all, as one of the cat’s tried to explain, they eat peanuts and we don’t.

Nite.

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It’s Labor Day on the Court. For the human inhabitants of the court, this is a day to sleep in, mow the lawn, go for a picnic or engage in some other family related activity.  For the cats, however, it’s not a regular day.  The Oak Court Cats are used to having people around for 2 days then the next 5 are quiet as we are off to work and school.  While I don’t think they can count the days, they are very much into the routines of our lives.

They appear to coordinate their morning schedule with my alarm clock and will be sitting patiently in the kitchen, waiting for breakfast, at 5:00 every morning.  They know that another round of wet food hits the bowls at 6:00 in the evening; several of the chowder will be sitting around the corners of the kitchen awaiting the splat sound when the Ocean White Fish and Tuna hit the bowl.  They are familiar with bed time, most of them going to their regular spots around 10:30, when the rest of the occupants of the house start to settle in for the night.  It’s all about routines.

So today I upset a few of them when I was digging around in the front closet for the flag.  I had help moving things around, lots of help.  Mid-morning I started cleaning out the vegetable garden.  Another questionable activity.  Didn’t I know this is their special place, where they spend hot afternoons sleeping in the shade of the tomato plants?  The Big Guy sat in the corner of the plot staring at me for an hour as I ‘clear cut’ the veggie forest.  I’m sure he’ll find some way to demonstrate his displeasure;  I must remember to check my shoes for hairballs before I put them on tomorrow morning.  I’ve disrupted their routine.

The Court’s quiet again; the peregrine falcons have moved on.  Most of the squirrels have returned although I’m pretty sure we lost a few of them to the falcons.   There is a new cat on the block; he’s shown some interest in the Court Cats, coming around this side of the court a few times to introduce himself.  Wonder when he’ll start coming in the cat door for a quick lunch with the rest of the cats?

Little girl stops to pay her respects to the flag.

Tomorrow it’s back to the routine where people run around for a bit, getting ready for work and school.  At 7:30 the house gets very quiet, as the people leave, and the cats settle down for the day.  Not sure what they do all day but it probably entails a lot of sleeping.  They’ll rest until 4:00 when people return and the house is active again.

The cat’s will go out on patrol a few times during the day.  With the trash pickup tomorrow I suspect they’ll want to get out early to investigate the various trash cans out on the street before the trucks come down the street. I don’t think they’ll hang around when the trucks show up however; they’ll probably be hiding behind the front curtains, waiting for them to leave.

Anyway, it’s almost time for their evening snack (another routine they’ve come to expect).

Nite