I started my day with my usual stretching exercises, and my cat Manitou was keeping me company and motivating my efforts with head butts, purrs and other affirming behaviors.
Out of the corner of my eye, a movement caught my attention. Turning my head, I realized I had an unexpected visitor—there was a squirrel looking in the window at me. That might seem not very out of the ordinary, but the window was inside the catio.
Standing up for a better look, I saw the squirrel had hopped into one of the cat beds (and that looked totally wrong, lol) and was looking at me inquiringly. I know that look all too well: “Where’s the nuts?”
Seriously? I was only a few minutes later than usual, but this enterprising squirrel felt that I needed a reminder.
I only offer nuts to the squirrels at the front door. I never feed them in the back yard for the very simple reason that I don’t want them to tackle me while I am relaxing in my lounge chair or on the catio because squirrels lack boundaries. Despite that rule, once in a while a squirrel tries to join me on the lounge chair (even while Manitou is sharing it with me) in order to place his/her nut order. This time my morning squirrel visitor thought it would be a great idea to get her nut order in before I had even fed my cats.
With Manitou at my elbow, and my other cat Night Sky somewhere else, I decided that I really needed to shoo the squirrel off the catio. I did not want to have to wash all of the cat beds since squirrels tend to pee freely wherever they feel like it.
As I was only newly awake, I decided that opening the window would startle the squirrel into leaving. However, I had reckoned without the determination of this squirrel and the fact that I have acquired the title of Nut-Provider rather than Scary-Human. When I opened the window, Manitou and I were wide-eyed in amazement as Squirrel immediately ran toward me, interpreting my action as an invitation to come into the bedroom. I quickly shut the window.
I decided that a different approach was needed. If I could not be Scary-Human, perhaps someone else could fill that role. I called for Night Sky.
My rescuer dashed into the bedroom—14 lbs. of muscled, be-whiskered and black furriness ready for action. Any action.
I explained the situation to Night Sky and opened the window. I figured that simply seeing him would be enough to scare Squirrel off. Not so much.
Manitou and I had a ringside seat at what turned out to be a slow-motion chase—up, down and around the catio, and even across the washer/dryer. It seemed that Squirrel had forgotten how she got in. Thankfully, she had no problem using the wire screen as a running surface which put her out of Night Sky’s reach.
At one point there was a pause in the action, and I saw Night Sky slowly stretch to try to touch the very tip of her bushy tail. In that moment I realized that he did not really want to catch Squirrel, he wanted her to move so he could enjoy the chase!
Thankfully, Squirrel came to her senses, and managed to find her way out before I had to intervene. I hoped that would be the last time she entered the catio.
After Night Sky wolfed down his breakfast, he took up a post of vigilance, sitting in one of the cat beds. From there he could survey the entire back yard. He was hoping that his live play toy would come back.
A while later, I saw that Night Sky was still at his post, and Squirrel was sitting on the arm of an Adirondack chair staring right back at him. It looked like a standoff at the OK Catio. I’m not entirely sure what will happen tomorrow…
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.