Author: Kara Mae Adamo.
Not too long after I got back from Monterey, (see Attack of the Squirrels, Part 1), I found myself smack-dab in the middle of another squirrel attack. This time, I was not alone.
The Asthmatic Baby Squirrel
One morning, after several rainy days in a row, my roommate Kira and I woke up to the pale glow of mid-morning sunlight. (Yes, our names are Kira and Kara—you can’t make that crap up.)
Eager to soak up the last rays of sunshine of the season, we decided to take advantage of this welcomed change by lounging out by the pool with a couple of books.
We were not alone in our decision. There were already several girls relaxing with magazines and one father was playing with his little six year old daughter in the pool. The sunlight danced happily across the water, reflecting in little beams against our skin. I curled my toes in happiness as I flipped through my now-worn copy of Bugliosi’s Outrage and listened to the trickling of the slated waterfall-styled fountain behind me.
And then I heard it.
A shrill, hair-raising scream pierces through the air, cut through the golden sunlight, zeroes in on me, and stabs at an unsuspecting nerve.
I jump and look up to see one of the girls propped up on her lounging chair, limbs rigid in fright.
“YELLLGHH!!!!” she squeals again.
Another girl wearing what has to be noise-cancelling headphones suddenly drops her iPod and springs up onto her chair like she’s just realized the patio is made of molten lava.
Blind to what was causing the commotion, I take my reading glasses off to see a tiny little brown fuzzy thing on hind legs staring the headphone girl down.
It jerks its head up and down.
The headphone girl springs back, up and off of the chair, nearly falling onto the step behind her.
The squirrel looks at the first girl. It darts at her. She, too, flies backward, almost knocking her friend over in the process.
The little girl in the pool sees the squirrel.
“Daddy! A squirrel! A squirrel!” she says happily, splashing around, seemingly oblivious to the impending danger.
“I see that!” her father says, clearly relieved to be in the pool and not on the patio.
The squirrel darts toward another of the girls. This girl laughs. She grabs a little pool toy (a ball) and rolls it toward the squirrel.
The squirrel—I shit you not—runs after it, pushing it along and rolling around with it like a puppy.
The tension clears for a moment. The squirrel is a baby. It is only playing. That is when the first victim goes “he followed us all the way from our apartment!”
…like a stray dog that follows you home…
This squirrel suffers from identity confusion.
Kira and I laugh and shake our heads and watch as people start trying to take pictures and videos with their phones as the baby squirrel rolls around with the ball.
The child in the pool makes another splash.
The ball be damned.
The squirrel spins around and makes a beeline for the pool. The child-thing screams. The squirrel’s tail bristles. It now stands at the edge of the pool bobbing its head up and down like a lizard. It is angry at the child-thing…and so am I.
Kira chooses this very moment to get up and rinse off so she can cool off in the pool. She goes to turn the pool shower on. The squirrel turns. It looks at her…and it takes off.
Kira runs away, screaming, “agh!! It’s wheezing! It’s wheezing!!”
Me: “It’s wheezing?”
Kira (who is now half-way around the pool): “I think it’s got rabies!!”
Me: “Idiot. It’s not frothing, it’s just tired.”
Kira: “No! It’s sick!”
She resurfaces and swims immediately to the center of the pool, joining up with the father and the little girl that distracted the squirrel from his ball to begin with.
I, remembering my recent run-in with his kind, gingerly place my book down on my chair and tiptoe away from it, over to the waterfall fountain.
The squirrel’s ears perk up. It dashes after me. Kira is right. It is wheezing.
I panic. I sprint away, rounding the corner at speeds unsafe for those of us with gravitational issues, and nearly slip on the pavers. The squirrel is now gaining on me. I have no choice: I launch myself into the pool.
I come up for air to see that it is glaring at me. Its beady little eyes and wheezing breaths are but a foot away. It’s crouching low—it’s about to jump in after me.
I kick water in its face and splash it. It darts into a bush.
At this point, one of the office ladies comes out to see what the hell is going on.
The fucking thing leaps out of the bush and onto her shoulder.
She laughs at it and walks out the gate with it just riding there like a goddamn parrot.
I am now leery of any and all squirrels in my apartment complex.