The Return of the Prodigal Son

Special note: This posting represents a blip-milestone. I've been posting daily photos, stories, and songs for eight years, as of today. Thank you to those who pop in to say hi on my big blip-day!

My husband has a special friend, a little gray kitty who belongs to the neighbors a few houses down, but who likes to come visit us. He's been hanging out with my husband off and on for more than a year now. It is not uncommon for me to arrive home from work to find my husband sitting with the LGK (whose name is Stryker) on his lap on the front porch.

My husband's little friend went missing in late November, and we were frantic with worry. My husband walked all the roads around our house looking for him. The neighbors posted flyers and announcements around the neighborhood and on social media, and we assisted.

You can only imagine our great relief when, on Thanksgiving night, we learned that Stryker had been found at the house of a neighbor not a mile away. The following morning, his family went and brought him home. Finally, he was safe and sound!

Stryker was without collar and tags and microchip when he went missing. So when he came home, he was on house arrest until all of that got squared away. On this morning, we woke up to see cat tracks in the snow on the front porch steps. An hour or so later, guess who showed up: the kitty who made the prints!

The LGK hung out on our front porch all morning and well into the afternoon, sitting alternately on my husband's lap or in a little nest my husband arranged for him out of blankets and jackets on a chair. The kitty likes to snug in there in the cold weather, for whatever reason. And boy were we glad to have him back!!!

Now, I have a second story to tell. Do you see that green hanging planter above and to the right of Stryker's head? My husband chops up peanuts and puts them on a tray inside it for the birds, several times per day.

The other night, it was around 6 pm and totally dark out, and my husband yelled for me to come outside to see the RATS that were feasting on peanuts in the hanging bird feeder. And I went out and he turned on the light, and one of the rats (???) JUMPED OFF way over into the bushes, a leap of at least six feet, straight into the air.

As my husband got closer, he pushed the feeder, and a second critter hopped out. It was about the size of a chipmunk, maybe a bit bigger. It had a face like a sugar glider and a long bushy tail. And it WALKED STRAIGHT UP THE WALL like a vampire. And we saw that we do not have rats at all. We have FLYING SQUIRRELS!!!!!!! Hooray!

So this evening, I was out watching the full cold moon (you may see a photo of that in the extras) and I heard a disturbance in the bushes. It was just after 6 pm, and I asked my husband if he had removed the bird tray, a thing he has started doing now to thwart the flying squirrels. No, he had not.

So out we went with a flashlight and I am happy to tell you that I FINALLY GOT A PHOTO OF A FLYING SQUIRREL, FOR THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!! You may see it in the extras. Hello, Rocky! (And the second flying squirrel, which did not show up this time, must - of course - be Bullwinkle.)

There are both northern and southern flying squirrels in Pennsylvania. However, the northern ones are endangered and are confirmed only in the northern parts of the state. So this one is probably southern. So say Hey all, Y'all!!!!

The soundtrack song for this blip was picked by my husband, to accompany the story of his reunion with his little gray kitty friend Stryker: Just the Two of Us, from the Austin Powers movie The Spy Who Shagged Me.

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