When we moved to our current house, we soon encountered an old squirrel who considered our back yard his territory. For the last six years he has visited regularly, gradually getting tamer and tamer. In 2006 he got mange, and we treated him. Eventually he decided it was OK to take peanuts from my hand. Throughout the years he remained Alpha Squirrel, seeing off all challengers.
But a few weeks ago, I noticed he had an injury to his left front paw; some sort of swelling on one of the fingers.