Also this is the second time in my life this has happened. Maybe in some cultures squirrels that just seem to drop dead in your yard is a sign of good luck or something but for me it’s just gross. And also a pain in the ass because it is really hard to get someone to come get a dead squirrel out of your yard and you have to make damn sure that said squirrel is dead.
So like five or six years ago, back when the husband and I still lived in Illinois we found our first dead squirrel- or almost dead squirrel cause as it turned out he was still alive. It all started when we were in the back yard with the dog and he started intently sniffing some grass near a tree and I pulled him back fast because just the week before he had picked up a possum, yeah you heard that right. He was doing his thing in the corner of the yard and comes running back to me with a freakin’ possum in his mouth, like a squeak toy or something. It’s a blur of course but I managed to yell out “drop it” and hustle the dog back into the house. Then I ran back to the yard to find the poor possum just lying there- “he’s dead!” I yelled. But the husband who was watching me through the kitchen window pointed out that the possum maybe, you know playing possum, and suggested I come back into the house and check back in an hour. Sure enough the damn thing was gone- do maybe the husband is right once in a while. But back to the squirrel- which is what I found when I checked out the patch of grass the dog had been sniffing. A dead squirrel, looking all stiff and glassy eyed. I yelled for the husband because while I totally think I should be paid the same money for the same job I didn’t get married so that I had to pick up dead squirrels. So the husband grabbed the pooper-scooper and a garbage bag to deal with the corpse when all of a sudden he jumped back and he may have squealed a bit too. “It moved!!!” Great, so now we have an alive but injured squirrel in our backyard and what the hell do you do with that? Now I’m a city girl so I went to phone book and called animal control and they told me that they did not deal with wild animals. What. The. Fuck?
I would like to go on the record saying that I would not count a semi-dead squirrel as a wild animal. I mean seriously – they are almost house pets. So after a rant in which I questioned the paternity of the animal control guy and why I pay taxes when animal control will not even protect me from wild animals I calmed down enough to call the number the non-animal control people gave me to “the wild animal lady” – their term not mine. She told me to take the squirrel to a local animal hospital and if it could be saved she would come get him. But now, how in the hell do you take a squirrel, which is basically a rat with a bushy tale, to the vet? It turns out you do so in an old Nike shoe box that you gingerly hold open while your husband deposits said squirrel. It was only a few minutes down the street to the vet, but I got kind of attached to Nike the squirrel, so I was slightly upset when the vet pronounced that Nike was dyeing from some ailment and invested with fleas so they would put her down humanely. But it wasn’t really a surprise- I mean I had thought the thing was dead and it didn’t move at all when we put him in the shoebox. So I was prepared for the news, but it still kind of sucked.
But that story is important because when I tell you that my husband refused to come out to the yard when I found the most recent dead squirrel until I had poked the thing with a stick you should understand that he has been burned before and is probably emotionally scarred and not, as one would think, a giant pussy.
To be continued tomorrow when I am officially on summer vacation- I have lost of stuff to write about and nothing but time- so I need to pace myself!