I don’t know what you think of when you hear, “Squirrel!”, but I always think of the scene in "Christmas Vacation" where the squirrel comes out of the Christmas tree and wreaks havoc while Aunt Bethany sits knitting, completely unaware of what’s going on around her.
Maybe you think of the catchy Phineas & Ferb tune “Squirrels In My Pants” that Candace makes up on the fly when, well, a squirrel gets stuck in her pants.
Or, you might think of sweet little Doug the dog in the movie "Up". Poor Doug can’t keep a complete thought together for thinking he sees a squirrel somewhere.
But now? Now I’m beginning to equate “Squirrel!” with things that are mean, pest-y, and not comical at all.
When we moved into this townhouse, I noticed there were a lot of squirrels around. And as we got to know the place, I realized the squirrels are kinda out of control. As in, they are everywhere. They fearlessly bound across the parking lot to the grass island out in front of our unit and sit out in the middle, just hanging out. They dig in our flower beds, mere feet from our front door and barely bother to run away when we step outside. They sit inches from our dining room windows and watch us while we eat. I kid you not. It’s creepy, y’all.
But my biggest problem with the squirrels? Not to be dramatic or anything, but they’re trying to kill me.
Not long after we moved in, the outlets in our bathrooms quit working. It took the maintenance guys two days to figure out what the problem was. They said it was a bad outlet. I have some other thoughts, considering what happened the very next week.
Meanwhile, I discovered that we had either a herd of elephants or a bunch of squirrels in the attic, specifically above our bedroom. And in the walls of the living room. Oz even noticed them. Which, for him, is a big deal. And when they start running back and forth, Oz chases them. Sort of. As well as a dog can chase a squirrel he can only hear in the attic above his head.
A week after the bathroom outlet ordeal, we came home one night and two outlets in our bedroom had quit working. Again, the maintenance guy figured it was an outlet that had gone bad. Extra tools, a trip to get a ladder, crawling up in the attic, and an hour and a half later, he discovered that it was the squirrels. They were in our attic. Which, I had known and reported. But they had chewed the negative wire at the junction box that connected those two outlets.
(Here, let’s pause a moment to be thankful that the squirrel chewed the negative wire. I do not need an “Aunt Bethany’s cat chewing the Christmas lights” moment above my head.)
And with promises to try to trap the squirrels, the maintenance guy left.
Nevermind that the squirrels still have unabated access to our attic and the wires they seem to love so much.
Maybe it was revenge for the day that I let Oz out in the back yard, where there was a squirrel hanging out. It wasn’t able to climb up the vinyl fence, so it panicked and Oz chased it around the yard for a little while. And I let him.
Since then, our heater caused the smoke detectors to go off at 3:45am. Logically, I know the squirrels had nothing to do with the fact that we thought we might die in our beds that night. Or that a contact was lose in the downstairs unit. But I will still blame them.
The faux drawer panel in front of the kitchen sink falls off if you breathe wrong. I know the squirrels have nothing to do with it, but I will still find a way to blame them.
Also? I’d love to find a way to blame Washer-gate on them.
Still? There’s been no attempt made to trap said squirrels, at least that I can tell. They still frolic over my head and bang in the walls. Last week, I took Oz out in the back yard area and heard what sounded like a squirrel trying to chew his way through the soffit. Yesterday, I heard one scratching himself in the attic – his foot was banging against the floor/ceiling. At 6am this very morning, one of them was chewing something above our bathroom. One day, I fully expect one to chew through the wall or ceiling and join us in the house.
If I lived in the country, I would take care of the problem myself. With prejudice. Extreme prejudice.
The other day, I was walking to get the mail, and a squirrel fell out of the tree nearby and hit the ground with a special sounding thud. Used to, my reaction would’ve been, “Aw, poor guy.” This time? I tilted my head back and laughed maniacally. Don’t worry. He hopped up and scurried back up the tree. And I’m sure he had some little squirrel words for me.
I saw one of them eyeballing my car this morning. If I find evidence of squirrelery on/in my car, you can bet it will be an all-out war between me and the squirrel nation. And this girl doesn’t take little rodent prisoners.