If you have a deep love of squirrels, skip this column. If you are a member of PETA, please note I was a vegetarian for years and I am all for equal rights for animals. I always tell my furry freeloaders they need to get a job and start contributing to the family. With that said, I will add I am deeply ashamed I found the following situation hilarious. Hopefully you will too. If not, please accept my apologies. I promise I won't write about squirrels again. At least not until something else squirrely happens.
We were taking the dingo on a run to burn off some energy. The kid stepped inside for a moment as I stretched out. The dog was leashed, but not tied. She sat next to me watching the squirrels zip around the tree in our yard. I was praising her for not chasing them when it happened.
The dog and I watched our latest freeloader, a cat we call Bagheera, sneak through the yard. Suddenly, it ran up and grabbed a squirrel right off the trunk of the oak. As they wrestled on the ground, the dingo went nuts. She ran after the cat, which jumped up, squirrel in mouth and tried to take off. I was hollering "no" and running after all three of them.
The dog jumped on the cat, which let go of the squirrel just as I reached them. The squirrel, obviously in a state of shock, ran right up to the dog, who in a fit of glee, chomped down on it. The dog was clearly delighted over catching a squirrel and had a look of utter triumph on her face.
"I've done it, I've finally caught a squirrel," she seemed to say. (Of course she didn't actually say it because her mouth was full of squirrel.) Suddenly, the traumatized squirrel reeled around and bit down on the dog's nose.
The dog was now squealing, or maybe it was the squirrel? With all the screaming going on, mine mostly, it was hard to tell. I was trying to grab the leash as the dog spun in circles, raking its face with its paws, trying to pull the squirrel off. Monkey squirrel was not letting go. I got tangled in the leash and down we went.
Super squirrel took off and desperately climbed the tree. About now, the kid came out of the house and asked what all the screaming was about. As I told the story, a whole new racket could be heard. The squirrel, clinging to a low branch, was being attacked by other squirrels! They kept running up to it and biting it. Squirrels were chattering, the dog was jumping high in the air and the cat was circling the tree, clearly open and ready to receive.
Why fellow rodents were trying to sacrifice this roughed-up squirrel to the predators below is unknown to me. The squirrel was barely hanging by its front feet to a branch and looking really pitiful.
"It looks like Franken-squirrel," my daughter quipped, sending us both into incredibly inappropriate fits of laughter.
The night ended with Franken-squirrel moving into the back yard via our bushes. Several cats now crowded around, waiting for the squirrel piñata to fall. The dingo discovered the fun and attempted to climb the tree, the fence, and the lawn furniture to get this sad looking squirrel. We shooed everyone away and hoped for the best. By morning he was gone, for his sake, hopefully far away.
Who says we don't get enough exercise?