Last night the squirrel climbed out of his box and I did manage to grab him before he jumped off the kitchen counter (and he sunk a tooth in my palm!), but that was my signal that it is time to return him to the yard. He was not fully weaned from his puppy milk replacer formula, but he was eating sunflower seeds and acorns by the handful so I think he’ll be ok.
D17 and I carried his box out and tipped it over next to an oak tree by the house, well away from the street. He dashed off and made a beeline for a different tree in the middle of the yard. D17 said it was the tree under which he found him originally! He climbed up that tree and we didn’t see him any more. I put some sunflower seeds under the tree and another stash inside the box, which I’ll leave tipped over near the house in case he feels like coming back to it tonight. I’ll put a little bowl of formula out for him in awhile, too.
So that’s the end of that episode. He was really cute when he was little but when he reached near-adulthood, he was changing into a very wild animal who protected his turf with all the vigor he had. He hated it every time my hand entered his box–even if it was just to place more food in there. It was interesting to see the very great difference between an essentially wild animal and our domesticated pets.