Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Which I Am Invaded

A rattling racket on the back porch jolted me away from the computer keyboard in the early hours of the morning.

"Dang cat," I thought. And yet when I turned and walked to the doorway to the back deck - nothing, no cat, no disrupted furniture, no sign of the wee feline.

Suddenly a wiry creature is flying at me and lands splayed across the screen door, claws clutch at the meshed pattern and I nearly faint from terror and adrenaline. Thankfully, I did not voice 'the girly scream'.

A squirrel hangs in mid-air clinging to the screen door, eyeing me with some amusement.

"Hey! What the heck -- HEY!"

Squirrel twitches it's bushy tail, and would surely have laughed had it the ability.

Instead it is all Fearlessness and Bravado. I pondered on opening the door to scare it away, then imagined the house invaded with a scampering hell-beast and wisely decided to do nothing. So we stared at each other for a few minutes. Finally he hurls himself into a roiling back-flip and begins a route outlining the dimensions of the deck by hopping from corner to corner via the posts on the deck railing.

A backyard rich in walnuts and other goodies is of no interest to this creature. I get the feeling he wants something specific. No idea what that might be --- some coffee maybe? A grilled cheese sandwich?

Muttering to myself, I go back to the computer and attempt to recollect my thoughts. About two minutes later, another house-jarring crash makes me jump out of my skin. Now he is hanging on the screen of the kitchen window, turning circles in a frenzy.

"WHAT?? What do you want from me?" I say, realizing instantly these are usually the last words of an imminent horror movie fatality.

He back and side flips over to the deck again.

For a moment, I ponder on offering him one of those pouches of catnip which sit in the cupboard. Could be interesting. Could make it far worse.

I start to ease the screen door open - maybe Timmy fell into the well and Lassie-squirrel here is trying hard to communicate the danger to me. (Timmy is at school and we do not have a well ... maybe a forest fire is approaching? Is Lassie-squirrel blinking a Morse code at me?)

Before I can do anything, the creature tornadoes across the deck and it's carpet of dead leaves, whirls up and back and sideways into the yard, does a bounce and is halfway up the walnut tree.

What the heck was that about?


  1. My legion strikes again. Maybe a gift of squirrel underpants would appease it.

  2. no one ever thinks of squirrel underpants until it is too late.


  3. Joe, are you serious? Are you trying to send me to the nut house? That's S. Claws.

    The exact same thing happened some 20+ years ago. I came home from school for Christmas and was sitting there in the den watching...hmmm, I think it was Working Girl on HBO. Or maybe it was Broadcast News. I just remember Joan Cusak. Anyway, loud noise, squirrel, what to do? Three times that night the squirrel would return. On the third visit, I opened the door and the squirrel timidly walked into the kitchen. Thankfully, Mom and Dad were asleep so they couldn't yell at me for letting a wild animal into the house. But at that moment, there was no need. S. Claws (as I later named him) simply walked confidently through the kitchen, into the dining room, and then on into the living room where he proceeded to scamper up the Christmas tree. When he reached the top he seemed to kiss the angel on top and then he scampered back down. I was mystified. What the heck? I mean, really? That's it? You just wanted to kiss the angel? And just as my mind was processing this, the damn squirrel lunged toward me with his mouth wide open. The once gentle little fuzzy fur ball transformed into this insane vampire rodent. He sunk his sharp fangs into my ankle while planting his back claws into the carpet and he literally started pulling my leg. Kind of like I am pulling yours right now.

  4. and you so had me with "insane vampire rodent" ... dammit.

  5. Squirrel amusement. They are the monkeys of the Tennessee forest. It amuses them to harass humans, dog and cats. They'd fling poo if they could figure out how.

    Oh and by the way, the twitching of a squirrel tail IS the squirrel version of laughter.

  6. "They are the monkeys of the Tennessee forest."

    i love that sentence!