I put the bird feeder out knowing full well that the squirrels would come. I actually planned this so the cats could have live entertainment, confined as they are to the screened patio. We sit out on the patio every morning and watch this particular squirrel collect his breakfast. He’s one of five who visit regularly, but he is unique because he is Abs Of Steel Squirrel!
Abs Of Steel Squirrel feeds by hanging upside down and curling back up for another bite. This is not normal squirrel behavior. Most squirrels grab a seed and sit somewhere on the feeder frame to eat. Some have slid down the central support and a few have fallen off altogether. Squirrels, as it turns out, are not natural pole dancers.
Others squirrels have mastered the 3-paw clutch where they cling with all but one paw that’s then free to grab seed. The disadvantage of this is that they sprawl all over the feeder and upset the blue jays who like to swoop in off the shed. The jays complain in loud and shrill caws when they can’t get to the seed.
The squirrels talk back in low, husky caws and chirrups just like the blue jays, only in a different register. Not Abs Of Steel Squirrel, of course, but all his buddies who are hanging out below for whatever he drops. Squirrels are also not naturally neat. When there are no jays to harass, they talk among themselves with little cries like babies who are just stirring.
Kaluha, my little female cat, makes mewling noises as she watches the squirrels. Lindor, the male, doesn’t talk, just launches himself silently at any who get too close, and then, of course, I yell because two pounds of squirrel and seven pounds of cat are enough to tear holes in the screens.
You’d think watching Abs Of Steel Squirrel would be a lovely way to unwind, aside from the worry of replacing screens, but I find that, even exhausted, I can’t turn off the storytelling. I understand cops and reporters have the same problem. I wonder, is Abs Of Steel Squirrel admired by the ladies? Is he a Lothario or does he feel alone and used, only appreciated for his abdominals?
Or perhaps Abs Of Steel Squirrel is actually a lady? Up close, I mostly noticed the monster, oversized back claws tearing at my screens. Is Abs Of Steel Squirrel in touch with her inner stripper or is she exploited, living out a sordid, soap opera of As The Squirrel Spins?