posted on November 19, 2009 07:19
The other day, I noticed both of my feline companions on the window sill; heads whipping side to side in unison, like they were watching an outdoor ping-pong tournament. Being bored (and easily amused), I decided to check it out.
I was surprisingly touched by what I saw: a raggedy-looking grey squirrel carrying a mouthful of yellow, crunchy leaves across the yard. Upon further reflection, I realized that it is November. The poor little guy was hungry, and trying to fatten up his little squirrel family for the winter.
(As I write this, I know how crazy it sounds that I know that this squirrel has a wife and kids. But we have a huge squirrel nest in the tree next to our house … Never mind).
I have a very soft, mushy spot in my heart for furry creatures – especially hungry ones. One day when I found a dead mouse in our basement that one of our cats had gotten, I considered burying it in the yard and erecting a little cross. But, I digress. I felt bad for this hungry grey guy in our yard, trying to choke down these crispy old leaves.
I decided it would be to my benefit (my soft heart, remember?), my cats’ benefit (cheap entertainment), and the poor squirrel’s benefit to give him something to eat. I found some old roasted peanuts in my cupboard that I knew would never be eaten. I trudged outside through all the crunchy leaves and dumped them directly in front of our bay window, while my cats watched excitedly.
Not five minutes later, my cats were going nuts; pawing at the window and making weird chattering noises. I moseyed over and saw our hungry squirrel stuffing his pouched cheeks with the peanuts. My heart felt a little lighter after watching him gather the entire pile of nuts, and scurry all puffy-faced up his tree. I had done my heroic deed for the day!
I now know that I have a new friend in this squirrel – let’s call him Peanut. My cats will look to me as their new source of entertainment. I can sleep easy tonight – in my own small (weird) way, I have made a difference in the world.
If you ever happen to drive by my house in Duluth, Minnesota, slow down as you pass: you might see three heads peering through the window.
Next time, I will make some popcorn,
Andrea Busche is a twenty-something writer who works for an electric company by day.
In addition to writing, her interests include reading, hiking, snowshoeing, personal finance, and wine. She and her husband live 3 blocks away from Lake Superior in Duluth, MN in a very old house with their two cats.
Andrea is available for freelance writing opportunities; she specializes in informational magazine articles (any topic – she has covered everything from adoption to zoos), and satirical essays. To contact her with a writing request, please call (218) 391-9568.