Author: Kara Mae Adamo.
I used to have a cat. Actually, I kind of still do have a cat, only he lives with his father (the ex) and my visitation rights are only loosely fulfilled. Thor lives on the other side of town in a townhouse I helped him move into and it is only on the rare that I hear much about him other than the fact that, evidently, he thinks he is an outdoor cat now.
This does not a happy Kara make.
But I digress. The reason I am even mentioning said feline is that, in the wee hours of the night, I sometimes enter a state of delusion where I forget important things like, oh say, I no longer have a pet. Keep all of this in mind as you read on.
So one night, Kira and I were in a girly mood. Fed up with the headaches of dating and the headaches of alcohol, we decided to stay in and just watch a movie. We vegged out and ate comfort food and watched The Daily Show with every intention of just falling asleep in front of the TV. It was the perfect dose of laziness meant to counter the long hours at work and the many hours of socializing we do on a weekly basis.
So I’m watching Stewart point out the most recent disturbing circumstances revolving around the presidential candidacy situation (I’d specify which one, but at this point I’m so over it that I’d really rather slip into a coma until it’s all over and done with anyway), when suddenly I felt something on my back.
Aww, Thor-baby, was basically the un-verbalized thought that skimmed the surface of my drifting consciousness.
I felt the thing move a little.
My eyes snapped open. I don’t have a cat!
I glared at the red head to my left, thinking she was messing with me.
Wrapped up like a burrito, Kira was snoring away within the folds of her comforter.
I kicked her. “Kira! Kira, wake up!”
She snorts herself awake. “What?”
“Kira, something’s in your bed!” A furry thing darts across her pillow.
I spring up into the air like Julie jumping onto the car in The Next Karate Kid. “Holy shit! It’s a rat!”
“Wahhhh!!” She screams.
A furry tail curves up over its head.
“Squirrelllll!!!!” I scream.
I sprang from her bed and flew out the door. Running down the hall, I realize that the half-awake Kira has been left to fend for herself. I whirl around in a valiant stroke of white-knight-protective instinct, intent on facing our foe head-on…
…only to see it running towards me with death in its eyes.
I turn-tail and run out the front door.
I slam the door and press my back against it as if a grizzly was on the other side, threatening to claw my face off. Breathing heavily, I look to my right. My neighbor Andrew has just walked out of his apartment. Cell phone in hand, he searches my panic-stricken, paling face. “…are you okay?”
“Squirrel.” I breathe, “Squirrel…ran across my back,” *swallow*
“There’s a squirrel in your apartment?”
“Is your roommate home?”
“Oh, shit,” I back away from the door, realizing that not only have I prevented the squirrel from leaving, but I’ve trapped Kira as well. Cautiously, I crack open the door.
An angry red head burst through it, running past me like an orange tornado in a purple bathrobe. “You left me in there!”
“I tried to come back for you!”
“You just fucking screamed ‘squirrel’ and ran off!! I was still asleep!”
“Well now what do we do?” I ask.
My neighbor came to the rescue. “The same thing happened to us once. If we turn off all of the lights in your apartment and open the door, it’ll go towards the light.
So our plan was set. We sent our rescuer (a much better white knight than me) in to contend with the squirrel. He searches our apartment high and low, unable to find it. We then turned all of the lights off and opened the front door, hoping the light from the hall would lure it out of whatever crevice it lurked in.
We called the security guards at our complex and told them what happened—you know—because they are going to handle a fucking squirrel break-in. I idly wondered if furry creatures could be trespassed.
After about twenty to forty solid minutes, we gave up. We sighed and tiptoed back into Kira’s room, which we decided was squirrel-free. We stuffed a towel under the door and did our best to fall asleep.
The next morning, we crept out, looking cautiously for our furry friend. He was nowhere to be seen…but tiny little squirrel teeth had nibbled at the peaches sitting in the bowl on our kitchen table. Furry little mooch.
So the office sends a guy out to us who sets up a trap. Evidently, back when we were having problems with our AC in July, the geniuses that “fixed” it created a hole thing near the AC to allow something to drain (hey, I’m a writer, not a handyman. I don’t know how it works). When they finally really fixed it, they never patched up the hole.
Hens, we had a squirrel visitor.
So he sets the trap by the hole and tells us that, in the event the squirrel gets trapped, we are not to let it out because it will just come back in.
So Kira goes to the restaurant and I start an article for work and neither of us think too much of it…until later that night. I heard a rattling in the cage and a squeaking noise.
Aww, I think to myself, it wants out!
But I have been given very specific orders to not, under any circumstances, let the squirrel out of its cage. Kira comes home and Holz comes over. Holz checks the squirrel. She tells me it’s a tiny little sugar glider. Great. Now I feel even more terrible than I already did.
Oh, well, I think, a couple more hours and they’ll let it out or something.
So the following morning, while I’m getting ready for an appointment, I hear a knock at my door. I open the door. The creepy old pest guy from before is there and tells me he just wants to check the squirrel. Unsure of whether the caged squirrel or the creepy guy have me more freaked out, I brush past him on my way to my car.
At this point, I want no part of it. “It’s fine. Just don’t hurt him, okay? I have to run.”
“No, here, I just want to show you…”
“No, seriously, I’m okay.”
“Here, you should look at it—oh.”
I pause halfway down the hall. “What?”
“It’s dead, look.” He then swings the cage at me. Inside is a catatonic, rigid squirrel.
I freak out, fly down the stairs, and peal out of the parking lot faster than I ever have before.
It seriously looked like the squirrel from Ice Age whenever it’s frozen in a block of ice.
Ever since, I swear to god, a totally different squirrel has lurked near the foot of my stairs. Holz and Kira and my friend Greg can vouch for me on this one…it straight blocks the stairs when it doesn’t want people to go up.
Now the question is, is he a security squirrel trying to protect me? Or is he seeking revenge for his lost brethren? Either way, no squirrels have tried coming in through that stupid hole thing they still haven’t patched up…and I feel guilty whenever I see the other squirrel.