I am pleased to report that the Kaprowy/Baker household will soon welcome a little baby puppy. By soon, I mean probably not until March or April — even our breeder dog is suffering from infertility so our plan of having our little guy at home by November fell through. But this way, you’ll have plenty of time to brace yourselves for the oncoming onslaught of puppy anecdotes. Consider this my warning.
In the meantime, another animal seems to have adopted our home. Or, more specifically, the screen on the window beside my nightstand. Nearly every afternoon, a squirrel climbs up and hangs out there for half hours at a time.
I first noticed him a few months ago when there was a strange noise coming from that area. It was windy out, and I thought the branch of a tree might be knocking against the house. But low and behold, there he was spread-eagled against the window pane, all his paws so far apart from each other he looked like a pegged tent.
First off, let’s just all agree that when we think of squirrels, we basically think of Disney’s version: fluffy, civilized tail rising behind a hunched little body. A somewhat nervous, somewhat contemplative face, tiny paws up to his mouth so he can nibble on a nut. It’s not bunny rabbit cute, but it’s pretty close.
And in Disney flicks, squirrels are always so chaste, so innocent they don’t even merit character development. Usually, they’re just extras sitting with the flowers in the corner of a frame listening to Bambi or watching Cinderella. I mean, all they want are some acorns and a little burrow in a tree so they can sleep all winter.
Fast forward to my current predicament of this rodent on the window screen, so unabashedly hanging out that I suddenly knew quite a bit about the sex organs of the ole Sciuridae family. More than that, this was no dainty little extra. This guy was big enough to cast an impressive shadow in the room. Muscular enough it could easily feed a family of four. And the word “cute”? Not even kind of applicable.
How did I feel? Well, given that I’m not exactly laid back when it comes to rodents, I was initially scared. A completely irrational reaction but one I’ll own up to. I also admit that I tapped on the window to try to chase him off. Then I knocked. Then I hit the window with the palm of my hand. He looked at me and I looked at him and, boy howdy, I was the one to step back.
But then I became a little fascinated. I mean, how often do you observe nature this close up in the comfort of your own home? I soon realized that he was on the screen because he enjoyed licking it. Like, really enjoying it. In fact, he’s been licking it for the past two months. How his tongue hasn’t been grated down to nothing is beyond me.
So of course I decided to Google the issue. Isn’t Google amazing these days? Absolutely no subject has gone undiscussed. And who were the people who felt this merited conversation? Cat ladies, of course. In Dec. 2010, Marcia on catforum.com observed the same thing I have. She expressed her frustration, since her cats were doing nothing to remedy the issue. But sweet Marcia, whose tagline is “Lord, help me be the person my cat thinks I am,” received some encouraging comments from her fellow cat ladies. Tiny Paws told her in June 2013 “Hey, you’re getting your windows clean for free!” She accompanied this rich joke with a smiling emoji and an all-caps LOL. Cat Face said in April 2013, “LOL! I can’t stop laughing … you just can’t get the help these days, eh?”
I can only assume it doesn’t take much to get Cat Face roflmao.
Anyway, so until we get our puppy, I’ve decided to treat our window visitor as a temporary pet. I mean, he’s not boring to watch (actually, it’s scary how watching him never gets old) and he’s maintenance free. Does it make me a little pathetic that I’m even developing affection for this giant, tongue-wagging guy? Does it make me even more pathetic that if I actually saw him outside and he approached me I’d run away like a ninny?
Perhaps. But you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.