hello shorty

a black squirrel with a short tail creeping towards the leg of a white woman, in the foreground, on which is a tattoo of two squirrels and a cherry branch.

This wonderful tattoo of my two short tailed squirrel friends, Shorty and Stubby Jr., was done for me earlier this year by the amazing Suzie Woodward (instagram link: Suzie Woodward tattoos). We finished up in late July and I spent the next month sitting on the concrete front steps in my jean shorts, nuts in one hand and phone in the other, waiting for Shorty to visit so I could try to get a photo of her next to her portrait. I got loads of photos, because Shorty is comfortable enough to take nuts straight out of my hand, but sadly she’s not very photogenic so this one is the best. Please ignore her embarrassing bald spot; Shorty is at least three years old, a pretty advanced age for an urban squirrel. She has enjoyed life and it shows.

Unfortunately I don’t think Stubby Jr. lives in our neighbourhood anymore; also pushing three, she showed up for the last time in May, about a week after we had finished the outline on this piece. That was the first time that both Shorty and Stubby visited me on the front porch at the same time and both accepted nuts (Stubby only from a distance, Shorty right up in my face as usual).

Here’s a photo of the two of them together at the backyard buffet, taken in August 2021 when they were young and bald-spot-free and our cherry tree, around which they’re chasing each other in their tattoo portrait, was also young and still needed a rope in case it toppled.

view of a backyard with flagstone patio in the foreground, steel vegetable beds in the background, and a young cherry tree in the middle with a bird feeder and two black squirrels.

And here’s Shorty last summer, viewed out the dining room window, demolishing a sunflower that, admittedly, she probably planted there herself.

a black squirrel sitting on a sunflower head, eating seeds, while suspended over a flagstone patio viewed from above.