This Best of Bogue column originally was published Nov. 30, 2007.
In a recent column, Vito in Cyberspace wrote about seeing some black tree squirrels at Niagara Falls.
After explaining that Eastern fox squirrels come in shades of red, black and gray, I asked you to let me know if you see any black, gray, or strange-colored tree squirrels.
Some of you did.
DEAR GARY: We have a small cat who thinks he is a Bengal tiger.
He went from a tiny hand-held kitten to an "Orange Monster." He attacks anything that moves -- hands, arms, elbows, feet. We finally, in desperation, had his canine teeth removed so I wouldn't look like a sieve. I also bleed very easily and in lieu of looking like an advertisement for Band-Aids, I invented my own bandages. Little boy white socks with the feet cut off make wonderful tubes for your arms and ankles.
Our best solution was a small water spritz bottle -- the cosmetic kind. We have them all over the house and the minute Jinx starts the biting, I reach for the spritz bottle and he backs down.
If he is too aggressive I grab him by the back of the neck and put him in a small closet for "timeout."
In 10 minutes he comes out sweet as pie.
By the way, Gary, "no" is not a word in my cat's language. "No" and a rap on the nose would get you an array of teeth holes you wouldn't believe.
Dear Marcia: I wonder how many cats and humans have developed relationships like this?
I'm almost afraid to ask.
Yes, I know you love Jinx. You wouldn't have been inventing those wonderful bandages all these years if you didn't.
Give that rascal a hug for me, will you? Uh, better forget I said that.
DEAR GARY: Please tell us if we should continue refilling our hummingbird feeder during the winter months? Or, is it best to encourage the little critters to go south for the winter by not replenishing it?
Lately, it appears our feeder has been "used" at a faster rate.
DEAR GEORGE: No need to shut down Bay Area feeders with our moderate winters.
Rapid draining of feeders may indicate some migrating hummers are stopping by to refuel.
Gary Bogue has retired after 42 years of writing this column. If you have animal-related questions, contact Joan Morris at email@example.com; or P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.