have i mentioned lately that i love my job? there are many reasons which i won't detail right now, but i will list one as the unpredictability and the sheer insanity of my boss. while he hasn't launched any homemade submarines into the new york harbor, or built any speakeasies under the parkway, or declared any east river islands sovereign nations lately, last week he introduced me to his new pet, mr. squirrel.
you may think that mr. squirrel is awfully cute. you wouldn't be alone. i would be embarrassed to repeat the series of adoring sounds that came out of my mouth when i first laid eyes on this little creature, who just last week was only 1/2 the size he is now.
you may think mr. squirrel is a nasty and dangerous rodent who is unfit to be a pet. at least he's not a coyote, who, while being really cute, i'm guessing, wouldn't win win the neighbor's prize for best apartment pet. though i used to work with a girl who had a pet bobcat. in manhattan.
all logic aside, the simple truth of the matter is that mr. squirrel--a lost baby with a broken leg--stowed away in my boss's suitcase up in cape cod. when my boss took him outside and deposited him on the porch, mr. squirrel ran right back after him, climbed up his leg and crawled into the pocket of his hoodie.
it was love.
now mr. squirrel thinks my boss is his mommy and i am a very climbable tree. i will admit, the first time he scaled my jeans, i thought surely he was on his way up to my face to bite my nose off. i remembered my ex-boyfriend (who was also terrified of dying from lockjaw--wow, he wouldn't like my job) and his absolute inability to relax in the park for fear that every squirrel (especially the rabid ones) was plotting a conspiracy attack on him.
far from participating in the squirrel armageddon that parker imagined, mr. squirrel has lived up to his cuteness, just wanting to cuddle in the crook of your arm or sit on your palm and use his hands to eat from a pile of pine nuts. this behavior falls much more in line with my smitten impression of squirrels. in fact, upon visiting me shortly after my move to new york in 1996, my friend kim noted with amusement that i had become so hard up for wildlife--living in the big city--that i had resorted to talking to squirrels and pigeons as though they were adorable babies. she coined this my 'squirrel voice'--a most nauseating high pitch laced with too many w's. come here wittle, wittle sqwirrel.... i use the squirrel voice with my cat prussia too, who truth be told, with her twitchy tail and skittish nature is just an overgrown calico squirrel. it doesn't really work with the bedbugs though. something about the vampiric nightly bloodsucking that isn't so cute and fuzzy. but that's a whole different post....
so far, the novelty of driving the boss's truck around with a squirrel balancing on the steering wheel, attracting stares of wonder, or more fun, watching the boss feign a panic attack when someone on the street points out there is a squirrel poking it's head out of his hood, hasn't worn off. and no, mr. squirrel may not be the ideal pet once he matures into an adult. but we'll just have to crack that acorn when we get to it.