A majority of stories that I run in this column are about family pets, usually dogs and cats.
Stories about wild or unusual animals are always a nice treat too.
Denys Templeton of Atascadero sent in this story about a little critter who has brought havoc — and some entertainment — into his life.
“We have a small bird feeder in our backyard; it’s attached to a pole about 5 feet high. The cage allows only small birds to fit between the bars.
“It used to have a round cap on it with a small knob for removal to fill. Mr. or Mrs. Squirrel was able to remove the cap, and I used to pick it up off the ground and replace it. I have nothing against squirrels and did not mind their sharing the food.
“One day the cap was off and I could not find it. Mr. Squirrel — tired of having to remove the cap — decided to hide it.
“So I built a cap out of wood and wedged it between the top of the feeder and the post. Problem solved.
“My wife and I enjoyed watching while the squirrel struggled to dislodge my cap. He was ingenious though; it was truly amazing to watch. He would hang upside down and shake the feeder so that the seed would fall to the ground then he would go down and eat.
“Today the wooden wedge was missing and again I could not find it. I decided to try another type of cover. This time I fashioned a lid of chicken wire, and bent the ends around the bars to secure it. He still found a way to pull the wire to one side so that he could get his paw down far enough to reach the seeds.
“What motivates these animals to be so resourceful? Is it hunger or intelligence? I have not given up yet — I have put a second layer of wire and attached it with longer strings. We will see now if he is able to outfox me again.”
Animal-related events around the county
Wine 4 Paws, a fundraising event for Woods Humane Society, will be at more than 50 participating wineries throughout San Luis Obispo County on April 9 and 10.
During this weekend, the Wine 4 Paws wineries will donate a portion of their proceeds to Woods Humane Society. To see a full list of participating wineries and get a free printable passport and map, visit www.wine4paws.com.
If you have a story or photos of your furry, feathered or scaly friend, please e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.