Some dance with wolves, others prefer smaller, safer critters. Now, I didn’t select my latest dance partner, it chose me, but I’m mighty glad it wasn’t a wolf. I don’t know how my typing fingers would have fared with that.
After the squirrel incident, I decided everyone might need a break, a little time to sit down, have a read and a laugh, and enjoy the cool weather that’s finally sweeping through the country. Texas always takes its own sweet time with cool fronts.
I think it may have been the recent nip in the air that initiated my pirouette with the squirrel. They get a little friskier during that time. Anyway, a couple of nights ago I was standing in front of the microwave, waiting for my cup of coffee to warm, when I heard skittering on the tiles. I could tell whatever it was, was coming across fast. So, thinking it was my cat, Lil’ Dickens, who’s highly attuned to all things going on in the kitchen, I wasn’t overly concerned. I glanced down and my eyes did that bugged out ah-oo-gah thing you see cartoon characters’ eyes do.
Something fuzzy was hurtling across the floor in front of Dickens. It was small, fast and gone in a flash between the stove and the cabinet.
I whooped, threw my hands in the air, and hollered at Dickens. “What the freak was that?” I bounced back, trying to see between the cabinet and stove, and asked the cat the same question again—at the top of my voice. To be honest, I think I asked him about five times. In Dickens defense, he did answer, but his eyes were ah-oo-gahed out too, so I knew he was just as confused as I was. He didn’t bounce away from the creature though; he just inched up close and personal with the stove.
About that time, the Hubby came into the room; wanting to know who the heck I was talkin’ to, and what I was offering up my freak word for every thirty seconds.
I tried to describe what I’d seen go darting past. The best I could come up with was what it wasn’t. It wasn’t a mouse; it was too big and fuzzy. It wasn’t a rat; no hairless tail followed it behind the stove.
Hubs grabbed the flashlight, and began the battle to share the peep hole behind the stove with Dickens. Hubs won, but Lil’ Dickens was immediately in a snit. Now, we knew we might need Dickens’ special skills, so we tried to pacify him as the Hubs removed the drawer beneath the stove to get a better look.
The culprit stared back at my Hubby, little beady eyes doing their own big ah-oo-gah thing.
“Possum,” Hubby said. “It’s a baby possum.”
I thought I’d faint.
“Possum? Those things have big teeth. I have to be here alone all day tomorrow with those teeth.” Hubby immediately went forth for traps, neither of us being killers at heart.
Well, the traps didn’t work, neither did cup towel swatting. But, the creature did exit its stove bunker. It vaulted across the room, circled around the kitchen, Lil’ Dickens hot on its heels, sending me flying on top of the dining room chair, before launching itself up the side of the atrium. When the creature finally curled in the corner, bravery descended upon my shoulders like a mantle, and I climbed on the chair again, this time to have a look.
“Why, that’s not a possum,” I said to Hubby, sounding like the Buick commercial. “It’s a baby squirrel.” The poor little thing had its beautiful tail flung over its head, trying to cover its own ah-oo-gah eyes.
I descended the chair, my heart hurting for the fuzzy baby. Hubby tried to woo it down, but after the squirrel got its second wind, it launched across the room again, running for all it was worth. Dickens, by this time, couldn’t even get traction on the floor before the squirrel disappeared. (Have I mentioned Dickens is a twenty pound cat? Takes a little revving up to get that fur ball movin’.)
After an hour, we gave up, deciding to put Dickens in the room with us for the night so the squirrel had a chance to recover along with us.
The next day I watched and waited, but never saw the baby. Of course I worried, wondering if Dickens had found a way to catch the squirrel, and after being yelled at, wasn’t doing the typical cat thing of showing us his find.
The next night I went to bed early to watch my TV show. Hubby had dibs on the living room screen, watching ball games.
I curled up, snuggled down and got lost in the show. A plop sounded on the side of the bed and I patted the comforter, signaling Dickens. The next thing I knew, something was twirling around on my head. I blinked. It wasn’t heavy enough for Dickens. I turned my head and a ball of fur landed on the pillow next to me. It twirled around a couple of times there, dance mode had set in I guess, and then bounded up the side of the lace scarf above the bed.
I jumped off the bed. Dickens jumped on the bed. And the squirrel vaulted onto the sconce which held the scarf, and froze—ah-oo-gah eyes bugged out.
I yelled. “Squirrel! Squirrel! On my head!–on my head!”
Hubby charged into the room, looked at my head, did “what the” at me and followed my pointing finger.
“He sat on your head?” Hubs looked skeptical, his eyes traveling from me to the squirrel.
“He danced on my head!” I hollered, ah-oo-gah eyes back in place. “He danced around on my head!”
Hubby laughed, but not for long. The chase was on again. Repeat the scene from the night before, but include the squirrel bobbing and weaving around my cups on the kitchen window sill as he played hide and seek with the Hubs.
We did finally capture the little guy. Hubby caught him in a cup towel and was able to get him out the door. Hubs says he saw him bound across the yard and make it up the side of the garage and onto the roof.
I’ll tell ya what, after all this, I now have a new appreciation for Kevin Costner and his dancing wolf. I always was impressed, but even more so now. Dancin’ with a wild thing isn’t for the faint hearted. It puts some fancy footwork in your step. Squirrel dancing’s a way better cardio workout than any Jazzercise class I ever took. Try it out sometime. I guarantee your heart rate will hit peak speed in the blink of your ah-oo-gah eyes.