This Best of Bogue column originally was published Nov. 23, 2008.
Dear Gary: Do crows migrate to the south for the winter?
Last summer, the crows found the food bank at a local walnut tree and used our street for a public restroom. The mess they left with broken walnut shells and white splashing on our driveways drove us insane.
Although I do see crows in other unfortunate neighborhoods, they seem to have flown the coop here. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
Alice K. N.
DEAR ALICE: The crows have moved into our human neighborhoods to live because we humans have constructed our houses in the wide open fields in the eastern parts of our counties that the crows used to call home.
We messed up their neighborhoods, so it looks like they're messing up ours. Seems like a fair trade to me.
Crows usually stick around the Bay Area during winter because our winters are fairly moderate. They move around all the time from one neighborhood to another as they search for food. They may or may not be back to visit yours. We usually leave plenty of stuff lying around for them to eat everywhere they go.
DEAR GARY: Does a cat really need a collar with an ID tag if it is already microchipped?
Wouldn't anyone who finds a cat or dog, be it an individual or a shelter, check first to see if it has been chipped? And that reminds me to remind people that when they move, their pet's microchip database has to be updated or it's useless.
DEAR JOAN: I think cats should also have an ID tag on a collar, along with a microchip, because not everyone thinks about a microchip when they find a lost pet.
You'd be amazed at how many people still don't know about chips. And people who have chips embedded in their pets are always forgetting to update the information with new phone numbers when they move.
I figure my pets' lives are worth covering all the bases. So I went down to Petco and used one of those do-it-yourself machines to make tags for my cats with name, our phone number and the magic word -- "reward" -- stamped on the tags. Works for me.
DEAR GARY: Hopefully this will amuse you. Besides our German shepherds we have four cats -- three who do not care to explore the outside world, and one who does.
Some time ago the cat who does like to go outside came running into the house making all kinds of noises; when I approached her I saw this little mouse, still alive, in her mouth.
No way did I want this little mouse to get hurt, so I reached into Tabby's mouth only to get bitten by the little mouse.
After it let go of my finger it ran happily away.
I had not had a Tetanus shot for years and my finger didn't look too good, so I went to Kaiser. The physician who examined my finger behaved rather strangely -- no hello or how are you.
All of a sudden he started to laugh uncontrollably and said, "Until now I have only known women who run away from mice. You are the first one who ever tried to rescue one."
DEAR RENATE: The doctor has obviously never met one of my readers before.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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.