“I did not make the commitment to be the friend of the squirrels of the neighborhood but I had a crush on Titi —completely nuts! ” says Mathieu-Robert Sauvé, a friend and fellow journalist. It was he and his wife, Caroline, who saved the life of the gray squirrel featured in the October edition of When Fashion And Nature Collide —see it HERE.
Since then, I did another photo shoot with Titi and he was very collaborative.
What a pleasure for me to see this adorable ball of fur come to perch on my shoulder, a rather unusual behavior for a rodent! Titi spent several weeks with Mathieu-Robert’s family, mostly in the slipper of his youngest son, which explains why it is now a little “domesticated”.
Here is the story of Titi presented by my friend Mathieu-Robert…
My life with Titi
The baby squirrel was about five weeks old when it saw Caroline. It was between cars; abandoned and lost. It was looking for heat and nuts. She had only to reach out. It climbed. My fiancee has a tender heart. This small, bushy-tailed beast, icon of the city of Montreal, with its official name “Gray Squirrel” (Sciurus carolinensis), had it all! She put him in a box of shoes, fixed on her scooter. And vroom, vroom; house direction.
When I arrived, I saw this thing in my kitchen and thought about fleas; bites, and diseases. I sprayed him with insecticide and put a nest in the solarium. After all, we already have two cats, 17 fish, four children. Raccoons and wild beasts, outside!
It was not me who tamed him; it was him who seduced me. I called him Titi. Sweet, fun, communicative … the animal has become autumn’s attraction. He accompanied us everywhere; I repaired the bike and shaved my beard with my buddy. I thought I lost him one morning; we found him lying in a ball in a slipper.
Almost a domestic animal, he went to bed at dusk and slept until dawn. He even slept in, pointing the tip of his muzzle around 8 am, yawning and stretching all his legs. A few walnuts, a handful of sunflower seeds and, a treat of happiness, a spoonful of peanut butter. He lacked nothing. Even love. Everyone knows that the squirrel hides its reserves for the coming winter. But is this acquired or innate? And how can it know that it’s time to build a nest? All this crossed our minds when Titi started to look outside.
After a month of cocooning-all-included diet, Titi was introduced to a tree. He climbed with hesitation. Uncertain about the texture and the fact that this thing has no ceiling, he took a step and then two. Head in the air, head down, he enjoyed exploring the branches. Then, as in real families, he started to forget that we existed. He slept in a gutter (I put him back in his slipper); then he did not show up at dusk. Once, twice.
“Titi! Titi!” Left!
Today, we hardly see him anymore. Only when he needs the keys of the car or he has to go to Ikea. Such is life.
A journalist and author, Mathieu-Robert Sauvé has published 13 biographies and essays. His most recent book, La violence des agneaux, (Éditions Québec Amérique) chronicles the incredible career of scientist Richard Tremblay. For those of you who can read French, it is on sale HERE
As for me, well, I’m looking forward to seeing Titi again. Hopefully, in Spring. Fingers crossed.
Photography of 3C Style by Hamza Boudjelal –– Makeup by Khalida Senni
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