Anecdotal Evidence

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Story of Dead Squirrels and my 26th Birthday

I turned 26 last week. The day before my birthday, I went to a client meeting with my shirt on inside out. Even once I realized, I never changed. It’s some kind of metaphor for how I live my life: inside out and generally OK with it.

Instead of a 25 lessons learned by 25 type of deal, I’ll say this of year 25 on the blue blobby miracle planet: (1) You’ll be sad, but then you won’t. (2) Don’t get too attached to your stuff or your schedule, and donate more of both. (3) Hoard your ideas. (4) Step outside your own head every once in a while. (5) You might pride yourself on saying “yes” to all, but “no” is damn well acceptable too.

On my birthday, I moved into a new apartment. Upon my arrival, I found a dead squirrel in a cage outside my window. His name was Greg because I said so.

When the landlord came and emptied the trap, he threw Greg in our yard and accidentally left him there… He also said that when he catches squirrels, he simply leaves them in the cage until they die of cold or starvation.

Not cool, guy.

The next day, a new squirrel was in the trap. His name was Glenn, and Glenn was alive but clearly distressed. He chewed on the bars, ran around, looked at me with little black button eyes that said, “I have a wife and two kids.”

I understand why a landlord might have to get rid of a pest if they are damaging their property and losing them money. I do! But if so, get a quick kill trap, or just fetch the squirrel as soon as you catch it and release it somewhere new. Anything but leave it to die a slow death.

I lobbied for Glenn, but the landlord was all, “Don’t worry, the little guy will be dead by morning” as if that would somehow appease me.

Naturally, I started feeding the squirrel.

When the landlord came back, he was surprised to find Glenn still alive, and under the pressure of my gaze, he agreed let him go free in the park, “just this once.”

To sum it all up, I started out year #26 with a solid win for the squirrel community. As they say in the Old Testament, “Out with the old and in with the squirrels.” (Leviticus, 19:12)

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2 thoughts on “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Story of Dead Squirrels and my 26th Birthday

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