My relationship with squirrels has suffered this past year. Last summer, after being away for a week, I reentered my apartment to find a giant squirrel tail poking directly through my AC door. This means a live adult squirrel was sitting partially inside of my apartment. I knocked on the window to scare it away but it was stubborn and wouldn’t leave. finally, it scampered a few feet from view. Phew, I thought. Then it got worse.
I started hearing tiny little screeches, coming from tiny creatures I couldn’t see. Oh my god, I realized. Momma squirrel had babies and they’re living partially inside of my apartment, too. I concede that I am unreasonably scared of nature, but this was unwelcome. So I barely managed to peer through the hole in the AC’s accordion-like door and find four tiny, furless, fetus-like squirrels writhing on the apartment-side, rather than the outdoor portion of my windowsill. I don’t know how I didn’t pass out because rarely—no, never—have I been more grossed out by new born animals.
Only after my superintendent had a battle to the death with the momma squirrel on my roof, and—after that—only after the momma squirrel, one by one, picked each of her squealing new born squirrels up with her hands, placed them directly in her mouth, and then scampered away to an undisclosed location, was my windowsill reclaimed for human rather than squirrel use, and by my battered AC, as nature intended. However. The damage had been done. I was terrified of squirrels.
Then, spring arrived. I was standing in my bathroom when, to my surprise, I spotted a squirrel prancing on top of a fence in my backyard carrying—what was that?—yes, an entire bagel in his mouth. Dear lord, I said to myself not out loud. Squirrels are brazen little bastards.
And, now this: While New York’s infamous Pizza Rat has turned out, in all likelihood, to be a hoax, squirrels have taken note of the way people pay attention to creatures carrying food—pizza especially—and improved upon it. First, Gothamist pointed out last summer that Pizza Squirrel likes to fold his slice, like a professional, before taking one down. And now DNAinfo reports this is still happening in Park Slope, only up in trees. If you were pizza squirrel, I guess you’d eat your slice with a view if you could, too?
Captured in his natural environment, the rare and elusive Park Slope pizza squirrel pic.twitter.com/1mRIn77gPF
— Ben Popper (@benpopper) June 30, 2016
I’m still pretty scared of squirrels. I never want to live with an adult or a baby squirrel ever again. However, I enjoy pizza and bagels just as much as the next squirrel—which is something I can now say without making a joke because they’ve shown us that this is true—and I guess I can’t blame them for that.