Well, I’ll be jiggered.
Gimpy the squirrel is alive.
Gimpy, for new readers, was the very un-PC name I gave a squirrel some months ago, with an injured hind leg that was swollen and dangling uselessly, but which I was unable to catch. While I felt bad for the poor thing, he was still a better tree climber than I was, so I assumed he’d eventually succumb to the fate of all injured small animals.
Today I saw him. The hip’s been dislocated, I think–he can grasp with it somewhat, but it dangles when he tries to perch–the toes work a little, but the big muscles that would pull the leg up don’t. But he’s still booking around on three legs, raiding my suet feeder cheerfully, the swelling’s gone, and there are shiny mats of scar tissue across the back where I presume something got its teeth in and pulled.
I thought he’d died months ago–in fact, had I caught him, it would be with the intent to help nature along, since he was obviously suffering and I wouldn’t have given him a snowball’s chance in the Bahamas–so I was astounded to see that he successfully fought off the infection and is tearing around on three legs, generally squirreling it up. Insomuch as squirrel psychology is a vast mystery to me, he seemed pretty cheerful, but then again, it’s not like you ever see a mopey squirrel.
Go, Gimpy! Beat those odds!