conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
When Squirrels Were One of America’s Most Popular Pets (Honestly, I wonder why nobody's tried to domesticate the squirrel. Or maybe they did and failed? But it seems like squirrels can hardly be a worse candidate for domestication than ferrets and cats, so....)

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Date: 2017-05-06 12:48 pm (UTC)
zestypinto: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zestypinto
Me, I'm a sucker for squirrels and chipmunks so would endorse them wholeheartedly.

I do recall though that there have been wax museums where they would show frontier life featuring a child with a squirrel on a leash. Perhaps it was a cultural thing? The impression of American way of life being rough and savage may have been reflected and carried passively to this day when it came to things like domesticating animals, or it may have been because there was never the opportunity to have one as a pet (just thinking because I recall how animals like guinea pigs and chinchillas were domesticated originally for food). It's an interesting thing to think about, I have to admit.

Date: 2017-05-07 02:45 am (UTC)
zestypinto: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zestypinto
Weren't foxes a Russian thing from a farm that harvested them? Just saying. Now, if we can do squirrel pets as a thing, I am one hundred percent behind it, but I don't think thw infrastructure was there.

Actually, thinking about it that way, raccoons and minks should have followed that pattern too. You're probably right then? Curses, this might be worth a few hours of Google-fu.

Also, I'm told skunks are quite adorable around the house. They've often been relatable with cats. Weaponized cats with bad eyesight, but yeah.

Date: 2017-05-07 02:48 am (UTC)
zesty_pinto: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zesty_pinto
..aaaaaaand I used another account that I keep confusing this with. Sorry, not a sock account just really bad at this import journal thing.

Date: 2017-05-04 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Squirrels are fast, high-energy climbers and jumpers, and (being rodents) they're also relentless gnawers, so they're too destructive to have free-ranging around the house, and they get neurotic when stuck in a cage. Like most wild animals, they become more aggressive when they reach maturity. They can be sweet pets if carefully raised by hand from babies, but - let's face it - a lot of people can hardly take proper care of a hamster. They're fiddly to feed correctly, and prone to misadventure: my first mother-in-law had a darling little red squirrel who tragically drowned in the toilet.

All in all, hardly worth domesticating; there are lots of little mammals that are easier to handle and care for. Squirrel fur is commercially valuable in Siberia, but apparently not in America, which is too bad because we've got a huge over-population of eastern grey squirrels who would make very pretty coats.

Date: 2017-05-05 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hamsters are like the mammal equivalent of goldfish: they don't live very long and don't have a lot of personality, but they are cute, and they require very minimal care.

Hamsters that aren't handled regularly can turn bitey, but the worst a hamster can do is nothing compared to a squirrel bite. Hamsters are slow and docile, don't leap or climb, and don't have sharp claws. A single hamster in a little cage with an exercise wheel might not be ecstatically happy, but it won't be crazy miserable either. A nice pet for someone who isn't prepared for the challenges of cat, ferret or bunny ownership. But a squirrel is more challenging than any of those.


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