I have a standing joke with several of my friends where, when we become distracted, we say SQUIRREL or SHINY, or, if it’s really bad, SHINY SQUIRREL. You get the reference, squirrels are always easily distracted and if it’s shiny, it’s worse. Authors aren’t much different. So, I find this funny. I also find squirrels cute, as I didn’t have to deal with them trying to get in under our roof, building nests, being destructive when I grew up, my mother had some stories that made them seem like the pests they can be. They also tend to create havoc when bird feeders are involved.
I can stop and watch a video of a squirrel because I find them amusing, clever, and cute as hell…hence the ‘distraction’ when I’m trying to write.
Since my friends know of this quirk of mine, I get a lot of squirrel pictures or share them with a select few. I even went so far as to make the Shiny Squirrel, something several of them find funny or roll their eyes at.
Last fall, I went to visit my girlfriend who lent me their family cabin for a week so I could relax after traveling so much, be near enough for her to visit, and to get away from it all. It was beautiful and I posted pictures in my Facebook timeline before about the house I had to myself…or, as it turns out, not so to myself.
I tend to ‘hear’ things. I am told it’s because I’m sensitive to things beyond my knowledge (for now). Some of it is ghosts, my mother has let me know messages from beyond, and others who either live with me, reach out, or even haunt me. My cats are frequently seen in my house, definitely heard, and knock stuff around…the last one died before this last trip so the fact that these cats are gone means I’m hearing their ghosts…it’s annoying but I live with it. Just last week the one that I last put down sharpened her claws on my carpeted steps…she’s been gone since September. She really needs to stop acting like the living and move on…I’m told she won’t move on until I do from this house…that’s another story. (see how I get off track from a story…squirrel)
So, staying in this fairly remote (and beautiful) cabin, I heard the first night a rather high-pitched peeping noise. Turned out it was a plug in to keep mice at bay. I told my girlfriend about it and she said, unplug it. Then she seemed ‘obsessed’ about preventing an infestation of mice, involving her father in the whole thing, putting down a TON (and stinky, you can have TOO much of that ‘spring fresh’ scent) mass of dryer sheets to ‘keep them away’ and discourage their living in the house. She was rather overboard about it, and I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought she was concerned about me staying there, wanted my time pleasant, and mice are destructive. Turns out, there was another story to it that she just told me…FOUR MONTHS LATER.
She had been visiting me, we were sitting at the kitchen table chatting. My back was to the room, her valiant husky was on the floor…sleeping (the lazy thing) and, apparently, we had another guest that she didn’t quite tell me about…a squirrel.
Since my back was to the room she glanced beyond me, saw something out of the corner of her eye (I frequently see things like that when the ghosts are particularly active, but when I tell her, I can hear her mentally rolling her eyes). The something was a squirrel…in the cabin. It hopped to the steps, climbed them to the first landing, and then perused the room…looking at both my girlfriend and I, analyzing the threat of the sleeping, and lazy dog, and deciding we weren’t that much of a consideration as it continued on up the steps. When my girlfriend excused herself to make a phone call, I thought nothing of it. After all, we are both busy individuals. When she came back from the phone call (more than one I have now found out) was when we HAD to go shopping and pick up those dryer sheets to lay all over the cabin…as per her father’s ‘suggestion.’ Apparently, she had demanded that he come down and catch the thing. He told her he had TRIED over the years to no avail and to use the dryer sheets which they can’t stand the smell of. She next tried her sister, again demanding that she come down and catch the thing. She was told she had exterminators in there who had tried to catch the things…again, nothing. So, the stinky (and overwhelming) dryer sheets were apparently the answer.
I have now envisioned the possibility (because I’m creative like that) of waking up with a squirrel sitting on my chest, looking into my face, waiting for me to wake up…and my girlfriend, saying nothing, because she didn’t want to ‘scare’ the squirrel, and, of course, the dog doing nothing because she was too lazy and sleeping…
Anyway, that’s my squirrel story and I’m sticking to it (for now, until I can embellish some more) and I worry that my girlfriend kept the true parts of this story to herself for four months, feeling I might feel uncomfortable staying there with a rodent in residence, which, her father assured her, was probably up the chimney at that point. I did hear the patter of ‘little feet’ on the roof as I recall during my stay there…but contrarily, I also heard branches against the windows and those killer ‘ninja’ squirrels could have gotten me…and then, where the hell would I have been?
Hope you’ve enjoyed the latest ‘story’ as well as the one coming soon!
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