The Suitcase Lady


July 8, 2014, 9:55 pm

After eighteen years, The Tooley Cafe has been remodeled. The revamp was not done for aesthetic reasons. It was done for squirrel reasons.

The Cafe has always been and will remain an equal opportunity feeding establishment. As long as the visitors don’t have shoes or shirts, they are welcome.

However, a few weeks ago we noted a problem. “I haven’t seen Downy for a while,” I said to my husband. Downy woodpeckers have been faithful visitors to our suet cakes for years. “The goldfinches aren’t around much either,” my husband replied.

We increased our surveillance of the Cafe and quickly discovered that the suet and all the feeders had multiple squirrels hanging off them from dawn until dusk.

We should have gotten a clue when we spotted two handsome, baby black squirrels a few weeks ago. For years, we had only one rare black squirrel who made infrequent appearances. Now, we have a family.

We have unwittingly created squirrel heaven. Ample food, a grove of pine trees and no hunters adds up to a healthy squirrel population. Our reds, grays and blacks are thriving.

Since the most incredibly overpopulated species on earth is humans, my husband and I have no desire to persecute another overpopulated species.

After brainstorming, we decided to try a “separate but equal” policy in the Cafe. Bear in mind that we are and always will be
liberals, but we do think “separate but equal” is fair when DIFFERENT SPECIES are involved.

We cleared an area in the Cafe, cut nearby branches and bought two new feeding stations with squirrel baffles. Then we moved the older feeders farther back in the woods, in other words, we created a separate squirrel dining room.

Within an hour, goldfinches and house finches found their new feeders. So far, no squirrels have usurped them.


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