Well, listen to that. Brazen squirrels have expanded their territory. They used to confine themselves mostly to the Roof Valley of Doom over the laundry room and a freeway along one of the kitchen joists; when we'd hear them scrabbling up there, we'd bang on the walls, clang pot lids, spray noxious things into the leaky-hole in the laundry-room ceiling, and so forth. (None of which discouraged or even particularly startled them, but it made us feel better.) But now, I hear them zooming around behind the walls of the third-floor study and guest room; the cats gaze fixedly at the walls in horror. Yesterday, one of the buggers was thrashing around not two feet from the back of my computer monitor.
This takeover has two causes, I suspect: One, there is a diving-board-sized fascia board hanging loose in front of the house, and I've even seen fluffy nesting material tucked into it. Yeah, we gotta get a guy to fix that, just as soon as we cope with the Christmas bills. Two, the blighters are proliferating. It used to be just two of them hanging around, Bagel and Smeagol (or, more probably, Mrs. Bagel). The other day, as we pulled into our driveway, four of them lined up on the telephone wire like a conga line. If we cut the engine and sit quietly in the car, they gather on the fence and mock us; one actually leapt onto the windshield. It's like Hitchcock's famous sequel, The Squirrels.
And now, the last straw: They've been recruiting new settlers to beef up their population and help scatter and consume our garbage. How can we tell? The nearest colony of black squirrels we've observed is two blocks from here, in the Prospect Park South historic district. But today we saw our first glossy black newcomer, sunbathing arrogantly on the pinnacle of the garage roof. (Note total relaxation of backward-pointing hind feet.)
[You'd never guess that a friend gave Child a boxed Marx Brothers DVD set for Christmas, would you?]