A couple of weeks ago, I looked out one of the upstairs windows and saw a solitary squirrel on the neighbor’s lawn across the street. It was raining steadily, not hard, more of a gentle rain, but enough that I wouldn’t want to be out without an umbrella. The rain didn’t seem to bother the squirrel, though. It bounded across the grass, stopped and dug, bounded, dug again. I suppose it was looking for nuts and seeds, but I kept wondering why there were no other squirrels around. Were the rest of them snug in their nests, saying to themselves, “It’s all very well for him, let him go out in the rain and get wet, but not me”? Or were they scattered elsewhere, equally busy, intent on gathering food, just in a different place?
It’s not the first time I’ve wondered how animals feel about being out in the elements: rain, snow, extreme cold or heat, high winds. Do they notice? Of course, they’ve got those nice fur coats to insulate them and to waterproof them, I suppose, to some degree. Yet cats certainly seem to notice cold, and generally to dislike being wet. Are they the exception? Do domesticated pets feel these things more than their wild cousins?
I suppose I could go looking for answers on the internet, but I’m feeling too lazy. Unlike the squirrel out in the rain, I’m ready to sit with a hot cup of tea and hibernate on the sofa.