I RECENTLY SUFFERED a home invasion by one of the Four Rodents of the Apocalypse, which are mice, rats, squirrels, and something called “roof rats” (rats tired of the climate-change-induced uptick in flooding of sewer-front properties). I was blessed with the deceptively cutest of these four: Squirrels. In. My. Ceiling.
(Reader, I want to be clear that “squirrels in my ceiling” is not a reference to my scattered thoughts but to literal bushy-tailed rodents doing tumbling runs in the crawl space above a bedroom.)
Squirrels strike a rare balance: They are both adorable and terrifying (like some toddlers I know). One day they’re hanging upside down outside the window to say hello or sitting and nibbling on a nut held just so in their wittle paws, so winsome! The next, a squirrel appears out of nowhere as I enjoy a sunny day on my front stoop, its eyes locked on mine. It skitters forward, then freezes. Forward and freeze, forward and freeze, like a glitchy squirrel robot. It is undeterred by “Shoo!” or “What do you want from meeeee?” Staring blankly, it just keeps coming — for the peanuts it imagines are in my pockets? For my soul? Or are there now flesh-eating squirrels? I run inside and lock the door.