29 December 2007
He didn't have to die
One of my favorite web sites, over the years, has been Grey Squirrel's Page of Silliness. It's a place where we squirrel-lovers can indulge our sometimes bizarre senses of humor, and openly share the admiration and affection we have for these engaging creatures.
I didn't expect my last visit there to bring me to tears. But it did: The welcoming page showed an eye-catching photograph of a bright-eyed male fox squirrel, and the narrative below was written in his own voice. He introduced himself as B.B. McCool - but referred to himself in the past tense.
B.B. McCool was a beloved backyard squirrel - and don't we all have a few of them ourselves? - and his painful, slow death was caused because someone in the neighborhood didn't care enough to keep their pet cat indoors.
I'm going to restrain myself from saying how I feel about this kind of killing that comes from irresponsible pet stewardship. There are stronger words I want to use, and harsher things I want to say, but they would be inappropriate for this forum.
However, if you read McCool's story yourself you will realize there was absolutely no reason he had to die like this. He suffered terribly, and the loving efforts to save him were not enough. His story does not share the graphic details of his anguish but it is painful to read - all the more reason to read it.
Please do. Visit the Web site, read his story, and remember him. And then please try to encourage people to love and respect their own pets, as well as their beautiful wild neighbors, and do the right thing by keeping their cats indoors - or not keeping any at all.