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More Adventures with Chuck
New Year's Day - Valentine's Day 2003



Chuckie is a Pervert!

Chuck had taken "Ride the Bucking Bronco" to a new level for 2003. He calls it "Humping Mommy's Forearm" ... the little deviant. Good thing he likes those low back exercises in "Stretch the Squirrel" ;-)


Chuck's Own Tree

The 7 1/2 foot Douglas Fir Christmas tree has been DE-decorated and now stands in Chuck's room. 

Initially, poor Chuckie was scared of the tree and wanted nothing to do with it. He refused to get off my hand when I tried to place him in it. Little guy never saw a tree up close :-( He is fine with furniture, blinds, cage and me and jumps from one to another. His artificial forest doesn't include REAL trees.

After a while, he kind of took to it. He could easily hide from me, but rushed to jump on me when I called. He ran all the way to the tip top and looked like a replacement for a star. He got where he jumped to it from the blind. He became fascinated with this live evergreen and exploring all the branches.

He seems to like it, but keeps returning to me ... I guess I'm still the favorite tree :-)   I'm going to leave it up until Monday when the tree collectors come by. But if he gets to liking it better, I think I'll get a small potted one for him when I get a bigger cage.


Chuck Burns Off Energy

Last night I had Chuck out in the room and he was playing around as usual. When he gets tired, he'll fall asleep in my sleeve until I put him up for the night. At some point, he got in his cage (the door was left open) and began racing around the cage ceiling in large circles. He seemed "on a mission" and totally ignored me and ran over my hand if I put it in his path. They do things like that to burn off extra energy. They are on the hyper side and need to be doing something. Some will do repeated back flips, some run the same route over and over.  I've heard him going this in the middle of the night, but never seen it with lights on.


Chuckie got a new toy

Today, I bought him a "Smart Toy" ... an interactive bird toy called Pick-A-Peanut. You put whole peanuts in it and he has to get them out ... or eaten ... through peanuts shaped slots. Maybe it'll give him something to do at  night besides run around in circles on the cage ceiling ;-)


Chuck decided that pulling those peanuts through the slots was a waste of time and energy; so he ate them right through the slots ... thus leaving me to figure out how to get the empty shells out. Who's toy is this anyway?



Chuck Disappears !!!

Tonight, I was watching TV in the living room and Chuck was inside my shirt. I lay down on the couch and Chuck was in the front of my shirt. Carley was sleeping stretched out behind me (she was there first;-) I guess I was crowding her and she crawled over me (taking time with her fat little self) and onto the floor. I felt Chuck jump from under my shirt in the direction of Carley. I immediately got up and both dogs just looked at me. I let them outside and turned the lights on ... no Chuck. I called and called and looked everywhere in the living room. I then searched the rest of the house including upstairs. No answer to my calls.

Finally, I found him on a blind in the study. He had to travel from the living room through either the kitchen or dinning room into the study in about 2 seconds. Boy! Those flyers can travel when they want to. He about save me a heart attack with this disappearing act. I wish he'd start answering when I call ... it'd save me a lot of grief.

Moral: Don't let your dog crawl over you when you have a flyer in your shirt!


Hello, my name is Joan and I am an addict

I am addicted to a small little fuzzy ball called a flying squirrel. I am also a HOF ... but then all HOFs are addicts. Not all addicts are HOFs. I cannot understand any other addiction of choice.

It started out rather subtly ... I got a FS. Then, he adopted me and I became a certified HOF. The rest is history. It was a gradual, insidious process. Wanting the best diet for him, best vitamins, best cage, etc. I didn't notice that it was getting out of hand until the children started losing weight and the check stubs were all to PetsMart. The kids needed to lose a little anyway.

As the cage grew larger and more elaborate, it made sense (at the time) to knock out that wall between the living and master bed room ... how was I supposed to know it was a weight bearing wall. Geez.

My husband moved out a couple of months ago, but that's OK. I'm turning his storage shed into a place for all the bags of nuts I've bought. They are really hard to get at certain times of the year. I put a large freezer in there so I could stock up during the Christmas holidays when nuts are abundant.

The children have been sent out of state to school; they can't get back too often and I'm using their room for toy storage (I like to rotate toys so the little ones don't get bored). My relatives keep saying that 5 and 6 is too young for boarding school, but what the hey, I need the space!

I started out with one little fur ball. It seemed natural to get a cage mate for him. OK, so maybe I shouldn't have gotten 3 females, but they were really a bargain. The next 4 were dropped on my door steps when the large oak fell ... so what if it needed a little help. Grass wasn't growing well under it and I'm sure that chipping was a call for help! Damn, those little buggers can reproduce.

I also thought it was my duty to order from each breeder who shipped so I could speak with first hand knowledge when there were forum questions about these breeders. Someone needed to do it.

Now, every electrician, roofer and animal control person in the 3 surrounding counties has my beeper number ... someone has to take in the babies they are evicting!

I work out of the house ... can't leave often as I have feedings around the clock. I'm working on a system of getting nursing mothers to take in the abandoned pups. Some of the women were real nasty about it!

E-Bay vendors know me on a first name basis and some just automatically send me items and a bill ... it saves me from having to go on line and the vendors don't waste time posting. Did any of you see that cute little Hallmark FS ornament? I have 23 and thought they'd make nice gifts next Christmas.

Not many of my friends come over any more ... one told me she was tired of dinners consisting of broccoli, kale, spinach, yogurt, and instant oatmeal. Some like the vegetable corn bread, but object when I put Repto-Cal on it. Go figure! The fresh fruit and nuts dessert is a hit, but my sister suggested I shell the nuts before adding to the fruit. I think the children wouldn't have lost all that weight if they hadn't been so picky.

And speaking of my sister, we had a falling out ... she began to criticize my dress, saying the tea stains made me look a mess. I told her, "Those are not tea stains!" She shut up and left. Haven't seen her in about 6 months now. Ever since she asked about the "raisins" all over the house. She was a pain anyway.

Between feedings, I frequent the FS boards. Did you know that if you join enough, you can have 24 hr. dialog? It is a problem when the Universal Translator On Line Support is down ... I just can't get the hang of Malay. Who needs non-HOFs when the world is full of people up all night playing "Hide and Seek" with their little ones?

So, that's my story ... what's yours?


In Case You Think I'm the Only One

Here are several e-mails from other HOFs that frequent FS boards.

>From Karen: "I made my daughter (age 20) read this immediately! She thinks I've gone over the edge, and I wanted her to know I'm not alone. she asked me if it could all be true, and I said, well maybe not the part about sending the little kids to boarding school, but I'm sure the rest is accurate.

We just got back from a ski vacation, and someone asked her how the lodging was. She said it was nice, but they had a mouse problem because she saw some droppings in the tub. I told her, no, there was no mouse problem. I had taken one of my shirts out of my suitcase, and upon seeing a couple of FS droppings on it, I just kind of shook the shirt over the tub, and that's what she saw. "oh, Mom, how could you?"

And then I was out running with a group, and someone remarked about a "coffee stain" i had on the back of my T-shirt. And of course, I told them, it wasn't coffee.

I'm still waiting for someone in the gym locker room to ask me about the tracks on my body that never seem to go away, but just move from place to place. I keep looking to see if anyone else has those tracks hoping there are other HOFs in the area, but so far, no luck!"

>From Bobbie: "When I asked for a support group recently I had no idea things had gone this guys are too funny... ROFLMAO And people wonder how I can sit at my computer for hours rubbing a little lump in my shirt! I used to keep Petey in my pocket until one day I was at the stupidmarket (thank you for that one Bev) and I noticed a woman looking at me funny, I looked down and I was cupping my left breast in my right hand, I looked back up at her and smiled and scratched it a bit and walked away. I had to give her something to make her think I had a reason for what I was doing. I hope she thinks I am not a pervert, that I just have no class."

Karren: "I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has had a grocery store adventure. Once, the kids came home from playing at the park in tears and brought me a tiny baby rabbit. It's eyes weren't open yet. The mother and the rest of the babies were dead. I kept that baby in my shirt pocket because I didn't have a cage for it. When I had to leave the house, I put it in a laundry basket. One day, I forgot and went to the grocery store with Bunny sleeping in my pocket. When I reached the meat aisle, I remembered and decided I'd better hurry up and get out of the store because she had grown enough to jump out when she woke up. As I was checking out, the little darling decided to pee. It was very obvious to the clerk who stared until she could recover her senses. I just wrote the check, shrugged and muttered something about those cheap nursing pads not being worth the effort. That made the clerk look to the other side for comparison. It looked like I was built like Dolly Parton on one side and Phyllis Diller on the other. The little bunny finally grew big enough to be released and never knew how much fun she'd been. She came back to visit often, which was nice."



Chuck is Growing Bolder

Chuck is venturing out further and further as he gets older. He is now 5 months old and getting adventuresome. He "flies" really well and can jump a good 10 feet with accuracy. He use to stay on me during "play time," but goes out on his own to explore the bedroom. I keep the door closed to keep the puppies out and also close the closet door because he goes in there and hides among the clothes. I'm so bad at finding him, he'll finally pop up and show himself. "Hide and Seek" just isn't my game.

He jumps all over the room using me as a spring board. From me to the blinds, back to me, onto the chair and back again. Tonight, he jumped from the blinds to the bed and onto his gym. He ran his wind chime and hit the floor with a "thud" and ran to me, scurrying up my leg. I know where he is by the sounds. Rattling is his cage, thuds is the floor, chimes is the gym, soft washboard sound is the blind and glass knocking is behind the blinds on the sun catchers. he went into the bathroom tonight, but scampered back in a hurry to shoot up my leg ... strange territory for him. He jumped on the computer ... from there to books behind it and flew to a desk knocking off a few items with the landing.

What's really strange is his in-cage exercise routine.  At some point in the evening, he'll leave the spaciousness of the room to return to his cage and race around the ceiling. I guess it's part of his daily exercise routine and he's committed to it :-)

1-26-03 Caging Chuck

Getting Chuck into his cage at night can be a feat. I have to trap him in my sleeve most of the time. I used to trap him on my body when he got on my leg. I'd put both hands over him and scoop him up and into the cage. SOMETIMES I got the door closed in time. LOL  Now, I'll let him get in my sleeve and trap him at the end with my other hand. His cage has a front door that slides up and down. I stick my hand and arm (up to the trapped squirrel) in the cage and close the door on my arm. I slowly pull the arm out with the door pushing Chuck down my sleeve and eventually into the cage. If I can get my hand out in time and the door closed ... it's in. Sometimes, it takes several attempts ;-)

Other times, he gets bored being loose and goes back in the cage to run his nightly laps on the ceiling. I'm usually on the computer when he's out; so my attention is divided. He gets tired of trying to get my attention.

Food & treats have never worked for me ... he knows they are a lure.

1-28-03  Smoking Wheel

I arrived at my sister's in Central FL for four days and bought Chuck a really nice travel cage complete with a new nest box mounted on the outside. As a last minute thought, I took along a second Wodent Running Wheel that I had. He has one mounted from the ceiling of his regular cage and never uses it ... preferring his nightly laps around the ceiling instead.

When I got to my sister's and set up the new cage, I put the wheel on the floor until I could mount it better at home. That night, Chuck was up making a terrible racket. I was in another room and thought he was tearing up the new cage in a fit of pique.

The cage was OK in the AM and that next night, I was in his room when the racket started again. Chuck had discovered "The Wheel". He was running it like a bat out of hell! He'd poke out every now and then and then crank it up again. The wheel was loose on the cage floor (go figure, he wouldn't use it mounted to the ceiling) and would move from one side to another. He got it jammed against a branch which stopped it from traveling around, but did not stop the spin. At one point, I thought I smelled smoke and saw the wheel rubbing against the branch as it spun 90 miles an hour. Afraid that the thing was going to burst into flames any minute, I got it situated away from the branch.

The next "Survivors" should be so lucky to have Chuck and his wheel to provide their bonfires. Now, I'm eager to see if he'll use the ceiling mounted one now that we're home.

1-29-03  Chuck's Post-Op Experience    

I was rudely awaken at 7:15 by my sister's knock on the door. I have not gotten up at such an ungodly hour since I retired 1 1/2 years ago. I arose at 6:20AM for years, but not before 10AM since

retirement. Of course, staying up until 2 or 3AM playing with Chuck could be part of the reason;-)

I had traveled to my sister's to take her for outpatient surgery to remove a skin cancer on her scalp. She needed a driver as she was going to have conscious sedation for the surgery and it would take some time to wear off.

Before we left, I looked in on Chuck to see how he'd adjusted to the new travel cage I'd gotten him.

He got out of his nest when he heard me (unusual for early morning) and reached his arms thru the bars begging me to take him out. Well, what could I do when those big eyes looked at me? So, out he came and dove into my shirt.

The trip to Orlando was uneventful and we quickly found the Outpatient building adjacent to the Orange Regional Medical Center. It was called Orange Memorial Hospital when I attended nursing school there years ago. We did the usual running around and paper work stuff. I accompanied my sister to the pre-op area and stayed while they started an IV, took a medical history and the numerous other things they do. She was scheduled for 10:30 surgery and at 11:00, I decided to get lunch and be back in time to see her post-op. She was still in Pre-op when I left and found my way to the hospital cafeteria.

Chuck slept most of the time, stretched and yawned, ran around inside my shirt and groomed himself and me off and on. He was not very active nor interested in what was going on in the outside world.

He did do a "Kilroy" peek out the top of my shirt while I was eating, but nothing impressed him; so he went back to sleep.

When I returned to the surgical waiting area, more people were arriving and more relatives sitting and waiting. Time began to pass and I saw more and more post-ops leaving to go home. After a while, I got concerned when I saw people leaving who had come in well after my sister. I spoke with the woman at the desk and she called the back room to see what was up. My sister was still in pre-op! Seems her surgeon's second case was more difficult than he expected and he was running late. My sister had not eaten nor drunk anything since 12 midnight and I knew she was getting tired of the wait.

Finally, I was called into post-op. It was now about 2PM. I stood by Jane's bed waiting for her to be OKed for discharge. Chuck had been sleeping most of the time and began to come alive. First, it was more and more running around inside the shirt. I began to look like Sigourney Weaver getting ready to pop an alien out of her chest. That wasn't so bad, but the nurse kept coming back to check on my sister. Then, Chuck decides to do one of his favorite past times ... hump mommy's forearm. Now, I Iooked like the alien had invaded a forearm muscle and was having a seizure. OK, I can deal with that, but Chuck decides to scan the premises from his "Kilroy" position. He hangs his heard out of the top of my shirt and checks out each occupied cubicle and it's groggy occupant. Thank goodness most are stoned out of their minds and the relatives are staring at them. I keep poking Chuck down the shirt and telling him to get his little rodent face out of sight.

Then, he spies my sister's cup of water and begins to lean out further. Now, she is as out of it as the rest of the crowd, but unwilling to give up her only liquid source in what seems like days. It takes me awhile to wrestle the water away from her, but I think my undrugged state gave me an advantage.

Chuck is cheering me on. Well, heck ... Jane's still got an IV running and has had close to 1000ccs, we figured she didn't need all that water.  I finally got it away from her (she did put up a good fight though) and held it to my throat where Chuck hangs. I tipped the cup and he starts lapping away. I've never seen him take so long to get his fill. Now, the relatives in the other cubicles are watching me pour water down my neck (their point of view) and I get a little nervous.

Refreshed, Chuck thinks it's time to come out and really get a look and the next thing I know, he's sitting on my shoulder looking like he'd like to leap on the cubicle curtain. I stuff him back in my shirt as quick as I can and he fusses and begins to run under my jacket from one wrist, up the arm, across the shoulders, down the other arm to the other wrist. I now look like I'm possessed and may vomit pea soup at any minute, as my head spins around . . . I am able to trap Chuck inside the jacket at the wrists, but he pushes and squeezes as hard as he can to break through. Just as I have him stopped with my left hand from fleeing my right cuff, the nurse shows up to give going home instructions (that take FOREVER) and then wants me to sign a release form for Jane. I'm sure she's considered incompetent due to the drugs. So, I reach out my right hand which is tightly clamped at the wrist by my left and the nurse puts a pen in it. I press my right wrist to the over the bed table to help contain Chuck while still gripping it with my left hand. I manage to sign a nearly legible name in the vicinity of the X and we are free to go.

I rush to get the car while the nurse gets my sister dressed. I drive the car around to pick up Jane and NOW Chuck decides he is tired and curls up against my side and goes to sleep. Fortunately, the drugs my sister got gave her a lot of amnesia, but she told me the next day about a weird dream of wrestling with Chuck over a glass of water. "Yea", says I, "those meds cause a lot of strange things." 

                                      Chuckie Gets Lost
Chuck, the puppies and I are in the car when I realize that I can't feel Chuck. Since he has taken to "pants diving", he will hang out in a pants leg and I forget he's there. I stop the car and get out to pat myself down and frisk the legs. No lump anywhere ... no Chuck.

I look all over the car and only the dogs stare back at me. Now, I begin to question my memory (which is about as long as a gnat's). Did I get him off the blinds before I left? I remember him jumping on me, but was that before or after my shower?

I get in the car and return home and rush to the bedroom ... no Chuck. I call and call. OK, I stopped at the neighborhood Chevron market on the way out. Maybe Chuck got off me there and I didn't notice. I go to the store and ask if the woman behind the counter has seen my squirrel. "He might be in here?" she says with fear in her voice. "Will he jump on me?" No, I lie and leave my phone number in case he turns up. I leave wishing the dark haired woman who likes Chuck was working today instead.
When I finally get to my destination, I look in the car again. Nothing! I pull out some clothes I have hanging in the back. I'd already looked through them, but now separate them one at a time. When I pull the slacks from the other clothing, there hanging on a leg is Chuck. He is still and quiet ... not a bad idea when you are loose in a car with 2 clueless dogs. He spots me and swiftly "shirt dives". I remember how I keep the closet door closed when he is loose in the bedroom because he will hide there when we play hide-and-seek and he ALWAYS wins. He won again.
2-14-03 Chuckie Goes to Blue Springs

A friend was visiting from Ohio and we took her to Blue Springs to meet my sister and view the manatees who go inland during winter to the warmth of the constant 72 degree waters. Blue Springs is a State Park about 2 hours from Jacksonville. It's a beautiful park on the St. Johns River which is fed by an underground spring.

That morning, Chuck was up early (he seems to always know when there is a trip:-) and begged to go. So, aboard he climbed and snuggled down to sleep.

When we arrived, the posting at the entrance gate said 71 manatees had arrived thus far. They are huge, gentle floating giants we called sea cows as children. They were in the shallow springs several with babies in tow. They are wondrous creatures and fun to watch. Chuckie slept.

We met my sister and her friends at the tour boat. She had made reservations for the 2 hours tour on the St. Johns. It was sunny and warm and a nice day to be out on the water. Chuck slept. We are able to see various birds, including Snowy Egrets, Moor hens (formerly common gallinules), Purple Gallinules, White Ibis, Great Blue Herons, White Herons, American Bittern, Osprey, and a number of others. Chuckie slept. We also saw 2 White Tailed bucks in a hammock. Chuckie slept. Numerous turtles and snakes basked in the sunlight. Chuckie slept. Several small alligators also basked and one REALLY BIG 40-50 year old laid out almost as long as the pontoon boat. Chuckie slept.

We had taken lunch with us to eat on the boat. I opened my sandwich nd Chuckie woke up. That Chuck always knows how to set his priorities!

Chuckie 5