If you don't care for profanity, please move on to another post. This one's going to be a doozy.
Ohmyfuckinggod, a goddamned squirrel chewed a motherfucking hole through my kitchen door's screen, a good four feet or more off the ground, and it came into my house, and it had no way to get back out that little hole because it's a stupid pea-brained little nasty rodent. (Or whatever order or family of mammal it may be. Frankly, at this point, a hearty city rat isn't looking bad by comparison.)
This squirrel—or perhaps one of its vile brethren—first attempted to break on through to the other side by shredding the screen in the bottom half of the kitchen door, where there were two panes of glass in its way. So it scampered higher up the screen and, working without a net, chewed its way into my house.
I learned of the invasion when Ben, self-starter that he is, heard a noise and went to investigate it. He trotted back to the living room and said, "Mom, I think there's a squirrel in our dining room. And I'm about to cry."
No shit! I went to investigate it myself, and the sight of an animal skittering around near the top of one's dining room window or curtains, making unearthly noises, is indeed alarming. I shrieked my way back to the living room. Tried calling Mr. Tangerine at work—no answer. Gah! Called my sister while changing clothes into more squirrel-resistant denim. Grabbed my keys and my kid, went out in the building hallway, knocked on the next door, and fortunately my neighbor was home. He offered to come in (to my horribly, embarrassingly cluttered end of the condo, but who cares about that when there is vermin that needs shooing?) and help. The squirrel hid out beneath a table full of computer equipment while I propped open the kitchen door. We cleared the way, and the bushy-tailed rat-beast raced out of the house.
A half hour later, I am finishing a beer. My heart rate may be drifting back down toward its baseline. And my eyes have largely stopped tearing up.
But holy shit! As soon as Mr. Tangerine gets home, we'll tackle the kitchen and dining room reconnaissance mission. Throw away any nibbled food, right the objects that the beast knocked over, check for chewed wires and furniture, wipe up the squirrel poo (for the curious: small turds that almost look like sunflower seeds without the shells, only darker brown to greenish, and mushy. Eww!), and sanitize all the surfaces, especially in the kitchen. My kitchen! Despoiled by the vile creature.
The initial findings are as follows: Chewed on my wheat bread (gnawing through the plastic bag), but had only a bite. (Now, was all the trauma worth it, you little bastard? I hope you learned your lesson.) Did not touch the Hawaiian bread or the pumpernickel bagels. Toppled a computer speaker. Knocked a travel mug onto the floor. I'm sure plenty of unhappy surprises await.
I'm not starting the cleanup process alone because I want some company in there. (Ben concurs with my current opinion of squirrels: He says he hates them, and they're cute only in pictures. Did you know those fuckers have been flossing their teeth on my car? Yes, the hard plastic parts where the windshield meets the wipers and the corner of the hood have been gnawed through, too. And they've chewed up the wooden porch railings belonging to my upstairs neighbors, as well as going through the screen into the third-floor unit a couple years ago. Fucking bastards. (The varmints, not the neighbors.)
But I am ready to move forward with other practical squirrel-related matters. Any suggestions? My sister recommended replacing the kitchen screens with dog-proof screens, but I'd need to make sure that squirrel teeth and claws can't break through the screens that resist dog and cat claws. And I wonder whether these are like the Sopranos of squirreldom. Do they just expect us to pay tribute in the form of a birdfeeder kept stocked with birdseed? I'd rather feed them out in the back yard than in my kitchen, but if you negotiate with squirrels, then the terrorists have won. Do you have any other ideas? I'm listening. Listening, and hoping to never hear the sound of a freaked-out squirrel tearing through my house and chittering like a demented alien.
I am feeling rather angsty and violated by all of motherfucking squirreldom. It may be time for another beer.
(If you're in the mood to read about other ways in which squirrels violate the compact we thought they had with humans, read Flea's write-up of Alex's birthday party two years ago—quite by coincidence, I discovered that the mom of the kid whose party Ben was invited to was actually a blogger I'd been reading for months. But the squirrels at that party, they were some psychotic bastards, no lie.)