I like squirrels, but they can eat up a lot of bird seed, and I have fallen into resentment at their doing that with mine. Sometimes if I'm sitting here and an intrepid tailed rodent makes its way down the pole, I scare it off by making noise. I did that a little earlier with one such squirrel, but then the cats and I noticed, as it sat on the branch above, that it had physical signs of possible trauma: the fur on one side of half its tail was gone.
My first thought was heck, let it have seed, I can keeping tramping out in the foot of snow, no big deal, I buy giant bags of seed, whatever, chill out, Lisa. Poor thing's been through something. Then I realized that this squirrel I might be able to recognize, at least until the fur grows back, if it does, and so I oughta give it a name. Its lopsided tail looks a bit like the end of a feather--- the long kind people use as quill pens in costume pictures about well-to-do French people with wigs and extremely uncomfortable-looking clothing.
The other named squirrel in these parts may have finally died, after at least 4 years. That one, Mr. Spot, had/has a white spot in the middle of its back. I've watched Spot, through the seasons, play, eat, investigate, and make & tend a nest in a sad-lookin' scrappy pine tree I didn't much care for 'til I came to know it as the location of Spot's place.
I wonder whether Mr. Spot is still out there. Haven't seen him since early fall.
It makes a difference when they no longer all look alike, when there's at least one you can tell apart from the rest. I kinda want to study some of Feather's fellows now, see if I can't note distinguishing features of a more subtle stripe in some of them.
Merry Christmas, btw.