Somehow I don't think I'm alone in my relationship with squirrels who want me to feed them. I love to feed the wild birds where we live in Santa Barbara. And I would love feeding our resident tree squirrel, who I call Sneaky, except that he's a two-fisted eater who shovels the bird feed into his mouth. It's not just that I don't want to spend our wild animal feed making Sneaky happy, it's that I worry for his gut. Btw, I say "he" because I'm convinced Sneaky is a he. I'm sorry if squirrel-gender-advocates are offended by my binary assignation of sex to Sneaky, but Sneaky seems fine with it. Sneaky has never taken a gender studies class.
Sneaky depends on jumping from tree branch to tree branch, but lately I see him having a bit more trouble air-lifting his heft. So, okay, I use a Super Soaker to chase Sneaky away. It's only filled with water so please don't sic PETA on me. Besides, I'm doing Sneaky a favor by giving him some exercise. And Sneaky gets me exercising. I have a tendency to just sit while writing and drawing and creatively scheming and at least Sneaky gets me up and down as I chase him away. I do more squats getting up and down from the couch to chase him away than I do in my haha-three-times-a-week exercise routine. He gets to run around the yard and work off the calories before coming back to do more two-fisted bird seed hoovering. Seems like a relationship that could last.