There are many squirrels around my house, I don’t find then that interesting unless I am trying to explain them to visitors from other countries who have no squirrels. My friend from Australia thought a squirrel was a big rat, which I do too after a few played house in my attic.
The first time I saw a squirrel do something memorable was when I was a little boy and my magical grandfather fed them nuts from his open hand. They scampered up and plucked nuts from his hand, I saw it, have never seen it since, never saw anyone else feed a squirrel that way, never succeeded myself, but Art Stone routinely fed squirrels from the palm of his hand. And then there was the encounter with my cat.
My cat has an across-the-board disdain for all other creatures as far as I can tell. On the balcony of the porch upstairs, one autumn day, a squirrel came scampering across the porch and my cat jumped down off its chair and paralyzed the squirrel with its stare. The squirrel froze for a long series of moments and then fell over dead. I waited a good hour and then scraped it up with a shovel and stuck it in a plastic garbage bag.
I couldn’t parse what I had seen: two species facing off like it was a gunfight, frozen for a moment as I watched my cat paralyze the squirrel with its preternatural stare. The squirrel did not move and I am certain that greasy cat sucked the life out of the squirrel.
I continued to wonder: what is this cat’s attachment to me?