I had to laugh when I watched “Up!” on cable last year. The Dog character’s freezing in mid-sentence every time he sensed a squirrel nearby was almost identical to my behavior around my home, down to the shouting of “Squirrel!” out loud at the little furry creatures.
I’ve become more familiar with my squirrels since I began writing full-time. There is constant movement outside my office window. At any point there may be one, two or several squirrels to catch my peripheral vision. They fall into several classes of characters.
There are the “dancing with the stars”. These are the ones that are hopping from tree limb to fence to rock to tree again. Their movement always causes me to turn and watch for a few seconds, though I am able to refrain from calling out to them when I’m indoors.
There are the “reindeer”. These guys are constantly bounding across my roof. You can here the thumping sounds of their landing and the skittering across the home as they move from the big overhanging tree in the back to the various landing zones in the front.
There are the “sanitation engineers”. These highly trained wizards loot the garbage out front on pick-up days. I have actually witnessed several squirrels working together to topple a garbage can to get at the yummy goodness that hides within. These guys always generate a lusty “Squirrel!” call from me to laud them for their great effort.
Finally, there are the “building inspectors”. These dudes usually run a route across the fence line and occasionally check out the rain gutters. I’m not sure what their little movements and noises mean, but I expect they are not impressed with the disrepair of many of these structures (mine included).
I happily live in an area well-landscaped and on my walking or biking trips have the opportunity to bellow out a call to many a squirrel as I pass by. They don’t seem particularly bothered by the outburst, though they rarely acknowledge any attachment to it, either. I am not discouraged by their indifference. What can I say, I just like the little guys.