3 critter(s) tales, plus a redirect

By Mir
July 23, 2015

1st Critter Tale: I swear (probably) this will be the last (most likely) thing I have to say this year about my garden and the squirrels, but I feel like this MUST be shared: Every single tomato in my garden is gone. GONE. In the space of about three days, the squirrels blew threw the red ones and got so annoyed about it, they also bit/tore down all of the remaining green ones. I have five giant tomato plants, all completely BARE. My beautiful tomatoes! It was like the scene in A Christmas Story after the Bumpus hounds destroy the turkey, except instead of “No turkey sandwiches… no turkey ala king…” I was wandering outside going “No tomato sauce… no BLTs… no caprese salad….”

squirrel-bite-squashI realize this is the first-worldliest of first world problems (I suppose I can buy tomatoes at the store or the Farmer’s Market, after all), but I am still hung up on the injustice of it. Especially because…

… with all of the tomatoes leveled, I figured the one saving grace would be that the squirrels were DONE. Oh, I’m adorable when I’m naive, no? Why, once the tomatoes are gone, why not start gnawing on the unripe squash? Bite each one a few times! Make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN they are not delicious, each and every one. That’s the ticket. Thanks, squirrels. You’re assholes.

2nd Critter Tale: I was feeling VERY UNKIND INDEED towards all things rodent-like yesterday when I was cleaning the pool and discovered a tiny, half-drowned mouse sitting on the top ladder step and trying to figure out how to get back to land. I don’t know if it was a baby or just some tiny variety, but it was about the size of my thumb. The next thing I knew, one of my children was crooning at the itty bitty poor pumpkin, and a rescue mission was underway. Unfortunately, it involved knocking said mouse into the water with the skimmer so that I could scoop it up in the net; fortunately, it was indeed safely retrieved and placed OUTSIDE our fence (yes, I know it came in under the fence somehow in that boneless way rodents have, let’s ignore that).

“Goodbye, Mr. Mouse!” I called. “Thanks very much, but our pool already has ALLLLLL the hantavirus I’d like, thanks! We’re full up!” And in a rare and somewhat nostalgic moment of Literal Girl Freaks Out, I found myself having to explain to Chickie that we didn’t REALLY have any hantavirus in the pool, it was a joke. So thanks for that, tiny mouse!

3rd Critter Tale: While my office was in pieces during that whole “oh let’s just paint, it’ll take no time at all” thing (haaaaaaaa!), we moved the dogs’ crate into the family room. Duncan promptly decided to hang out in there in the evenings rather than let us coax him up onto the couch, because he is old and crabby. Once the office was done and everything was put back, he seemed rather at loose ends in the evening, so I decided to order him a nice soft bed for the corner of the family room. [Note: Licorice has promptly torn up every bed we ever tried to give her. She doesn’t need a dog bed, because we have FURNITURE. Duh. Dunc, on the other hand, hangs out in the crate in my office for most of the day, then sleeps in a bed on the floor of our room each night.] The bed arrived and I made a great show of placing it just so and introducing Duncan to it. At first he was perplexed and then uninterested, so like the ridiculous human that I am, I sat in it until he barked at me. (While my husband took pictures. Of course.) Duncan finally took a brief rest in the new digs before wandering off to chew on a toy, and a few minutes later I found this:


Jerkface sibling dynamics: Not just for people!

Anyway, that’s what’s up here. Various sizes of animals, annoying me to various degrees. CALL ME DR. DOLITTLE, except instead of talking to animals I… just… do very little, I guess. (Yeah, sorry, I don’t know where I was going with that.)

Bonus: I have a new advice column up over at Alpha Mom, all about whether or not you should bribe your teenagers. This one was fun to write. Please check it out, and also HEY if you haven’t submitted a question but want to see this column continue, the address to submit is alphamomteens[at]gmail[dot]com and I would be happy to pretend to know things in response to your query.


  1. My Kids Mom

    Where is the picture of you in the dog bed?

  2. Mary

    It is recommended to use cayenne powder in bird feed (I’ve never used it but it is said not to bother the birds; but how do they know???) to discourage squirrels. Perhaps dressing your garden with cayenne would keep them out???

  3. RuthWells

    Squirrels are, indeed, assholes. I have not had a tomato crop in years. It’s enough to make a gardener weep.

  4. Jeanie

    I feel bad about your tomatoes. Really. I’ve had my share of tomato plants, and they’ve never been eaten by squirrels. There are always squirrels in my backyard, too. Your tomatoes must have been extra-special delicious. Oh, the dog beds! I can’t even tell you how we go through them. For whatever reason, my dog that was a stray (cocker mix) loves to chew the corners off of them. My sofa pillows, too, but that’s a different story. My labradoodle likes to bury his favorite ball under the beds and then dive for it. My shih tzu just sits back and laughs when the other two dogs get in trouble.

  5. kellyg

    I have a neighbor whose garden was decimated by some local fauna (rabbits, maybe, or deer). They ate everything except the zucchini. It’s almost funny.

  6. Karen

    Oh I have a deep hatred for squirrels. They raid our pecan tree every year. Wish we still had a working pellet gun. Hate, hate, hate squirrels!!

  7. Rockabyebye

    Yes. Squirrels are assholes. They’ve eaten, or destroyed for fun, everything I’ve ever planted. Last month I watched a squirrel eat an entire bird!! It took him thirty minutes. He started with the head and worked his way down. Sat in a tree and ate the whole thing. Don’t know if he killed it or found it dead. I already didn’t like squirrels. Now, I really don’t like squirrels.

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