I complained about coffee today. Primarily I was irritated at the sudden energy low I was suffering, but one of the other side-effects that got to me was how it sped up my digestive system... forcing things to move that weren't quite ready to git goin' yet. (If you catch my none-too-subtle drift.)
Fast forward to two hours later. I'm sitting in my living room huddled in the comfy chair when I glance across the room where the litter-box sits. There's a squirrel sitting on the mat in front of the box.
It's still there.
I blink again.
Yep. That's a squirrel all right.
I live on the second floor, there's a balcony, but I rarely get visitors of the wild kingdom persuasion. In fact, the last time I saw a squirrel on the balcony was about six years ago. It hung out for a minute or two, declared me boring, and then sauntered off. It certainly didn't come inside, help itself to a swathe of my carpet, and make itself at home.
This squirrel? It looked at me with a bored expression and then wandered into the bedroom.
I called apartment maintenance. Lord help us all if that thing gets lost in my bedroom. It could hide in there for weeks without me finding it. Neat I am not. I didn't know what maintenance could actually do about it, frankly I expected them to laugh at me, only to hear that this is the third squirrel invasion this week.
Seriously? It's getting positively Hitchcockian up in here.
So, even though it's about a minute before closing, maintenance agrees to send someone to help me remove the vermin from my apartment. I peeked into the bedroom, looking for a bushy gray tail, I didn't see one, but while I stood in the doorway, I heard a crash from the en suite bathroom. I reached through and quickly pulled the door closed. Then I called the cat. Her favourite place is the bathroom, so there's a chance I just trapped her in there too. But no, she comes running at my call. I roll my eyes. Isn't she supposed to be hunting this thing with whiskers a-twitter and butt a-wagging? Feh. Not my cat. She couldn't care less. In fact, she'd really like to know why I called as she was enjoying a peaceful nap in the closet.
I dismiss her.
Now I know without a doubt that the banging in the bathroom is the four-legged intruder, so at least when maintenance comes we'll know exactly where the squirrel is. As I chat with the office staff, who seem amazed that I actually saw the squirrel with my very own eyes, she mentions that they've been getting in through the dryer vents connected to the roof, and how the apartment complex has never had an infestation like this before. I've been here I long time, so I'm inclined to believe her. I ask her if they had someone working on the roof yesterday, and she says no.
Suddenly it all clicks. It was the squirrel I heard rummaging around up there yesterday. It was the squirrel I heard scratching in the walls yesterday afternoon (that I assumed was my neighbour drawing on the walls or something), and it was the squirrel I heard squeaking rhythmically yesterday morning when I assumed it was ceiling-fan motor dying. *le sigh* In fact, it's likely the squirrel is responsible for the death of the dryer I had reported to maintenance a mere hour before Squirrel Sighting '09.
Maintenance came and left a peanut-butter laced trap in my bathroom. That was at 6pm. It's after 9 now. In a 50 sq ft room, the trap has not yet sprung. Why? I suspect it's because this same squirrel has been caught twice before by the evil lure of peanut butter, and knows better now. Even more amusing? I have two bowls of water in there left out for my indifferent cat. So the squirrel can probably survive for quite a while.
What does any of this have to do with irony?
Because of the coffee I maligned so callously only a few hours before, I had taken care of all my ablutionary needs long before the squirrel hijacked my bathroom. I've had to pee only once since the door closed between us, and I braved the bathroom as any woman would - with my toes hovering in the air, and a wipe as fast as any gun in the west. The squirrel sat behind the toilet screeching and trilling at me, which I think is the squirrel equivalent of a snake's rattle or a dog's growl. I feared at any moment it would launch itself at my ass and hang on until I shook it off somewhere outside my front door. It did not.
Having survived that single incident unscathed, I won't be eating or drinking anything more tonight. God bless coffee.
Currently reading: The Graveyard Book
Self-pubbing short stories
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