A rattling racket on the back porch jolted me away from the computer keyboard in the early hours of the morning.
"Dang cat," I thought. And yet when I turned and walked to the doorway to the back deck - nothing, no cat, no disrupted furniture, no sign of the wee feline.
Suddenly a wiry creature is flying at me and lands splayed across the screen door, claws clutch at the meshed pattern and I nearly faint from terror and adrenaline. Thankfully, I did not voice 'the girly scream'.
A squirrel hangs in mid-air clinging to the screen door, eyeing me with some amusement.
"Hey! What the heck -- HEY!"
Squirrel twitches it's bushy tail, and would surely have laughed had it the ability.
Instead it is all Fearlessness and Bravado. I pondered on opening the door to scare it away, then imagined the house invaded with a scampering hell-beast and wisely decided to do nothing. So we stared at each other for a few minutes. Finally he hurls himself into a roiling back-flip and begins a route outlining the dimensions of the deck by hopping from corner to corner via the posts on the deck railing.
A backyard rich in walnuts and other goodies is of no interest to this creature. I get the feeling he wants something specific. No idea what that might be --- some coffee maybe? A grilled cheese sandwich?
Muttering to myself, I go back to the computer and attempt to recollect my thoughts. About two minutes later, another house-jarring crash makes me jump out of my skin. Now he is hanging on the screen of the kitchen window, turning circles in a frenzy.
"WHAT?? What do you want from me?" I say, realizing instantly these are usually the last words of an imminent horror movie fatality.
He back and side flips over to the deck again.
For a moment, I ponder on offering him one of those pouches of catnip which sit in the cupboard. Could be interesting. Could make it far worse.
I start to ease the screen door open - maybe Timmy fell into the well and Lassie-squirrel here is trying hard to communicate the danger to me. (Timmy is at school and we do not have a well ... maybe a forest fire is approaching? Is Lassie-squirrel blinking a Morse code at me?)
Before I can do anything, the creature tornadoes across the deck and it's carpet of dead leaves, whirls up and back and sideways into the yard, does a bounce and is halfway up the walnut tree.
What the heck was that about?