Yes, little furry things are kind of cute in a way, even if they aren’t stuffed, but some are just plain trouble. And I am not referring to the neighbor’s cat that can be a menace. I have a pesky squirrel that lives in the tree outside my bedroom window, and he is a big nuisance. If you hate people who crack their gum when they chew in the movie theater, especially during the love scenes, you will not like this critter that opens nuts in the noisiest possible manner—early in the morning while I am sleeping. He wakes me up and is darn proud of it. He gives me that one-eyed cocky look, almost like a wink, as I throw tennis balls his way. I have even, in a fit of anger, thrown a tennis shoe or two.
I don’t want to set a trap and harm him. I am not that mean. I have consulted a pest control company and got a lot of “it’s not our job” kind of responses. I have checked with the city, honing in on presumably the right department, with no luck. They will come get raccoons and possums, but they won’t get rid of squirrels. These are in their correct habitat with no need for relocation. “Get used to it, gal.”
I have to get creative on my own. I need to acquire an eco-friendly pest control mindset. I can make a little noose, but that would be fatal. I can poison the nuts, but….no way. I can sing to him. That puts my brother off. I can chop down the branches, but that would be foolish as I like the shade. What would you do? I decide ti remove the source of my frustration and de-nut the area, if I may coin a word. The problem is: I don’t see any. Where does he get them? Does he literally grow them in a secret mini farm?
I decide to follow the squirrel about one day, or rather watch him at play. He is on to me and doesn’t budge from the tree. The neighbor’s cat is intrigued and starts to circle the trunk, round and round, like the tiger in Little Black Sambo. But he doesn’t turn to butter. The squirrel gets super agitated and antsy. He stares back at the overgrown tom in a big face off. Neither moves for a good thirty minutes. The cat trots away, and all is back to normal for a day or two. Not the good kind of normal, mind you, but the status quo as it is.
The third day the cat is back, circling and circling, licking his chops. The squirrel struggles for composure and scoots away. He comes back and this goes on for some time over and over. After a week or so, the poor squirrel gives up and abandons the tree, seemingly for good. I see him down the street in a big elm, munching and cracking away. I have done my job: it’s pest control at work—feline style!