I've been kept near poverty by my inordinate number of purchases of bags of peanuts to feed the local fauna in my backyard. As a result, a murder of crows numbering in the high twenties has taken up residence in the neighborhood trees, Stellar's jays and scrub jays await my daily dispensing of legume largess, and there's even a rat who's taken up residence under the deck. Needless to say, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed is less than thrilled with the latest guest. But he's not one of those big ugly cartoon rats -- he's more like an oversized mouse. Too cute to kill.
But the major recipients of my daily dropping of nuts are the squirrels. There are at least two of them -- since they all look alike, there could be more and they are sending out tag-teams at lunch time. And they are fairly small urban squirrels, not the big honkers you see out in the woods.
And they don't take any shit off of anybody. They will muscle their way into the middle of a cluster of crows, push them out of the way, and fill their cheeks with peanuts. The crows, who are naturally wary anyway, scuttle aside and let the squirrels have their way, even though most of them are bigger than the squirrels and they have them outnumbered. The other birds, being smaller, fly the other way when they even see a squirrel.
But the most impressive feat happened today, when I dropped some peanuts on the deck and retreated behind the sliding glass door. The rat made his way out of his crack and started nosing around the peanuts, and seemingly out of nowhere a squirrel shot across the deck, headed for the rat with mayhem on his mind. The rat jumped straight up in the air, hit the ground running and disappeared back under the deck.
Then the squirrel sort of strutted around with a "that's right, I'm bad" attitude, grabbed some peanuts and headed for the back yard. The cats, in the meantime, were going nuts themselves, yowling and throwing themselves at the glass. Because they wanted to "play" with the squirrel. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. That squirrel would show them that there really is more than one way to skin a cat. Better that they stay safely ensconced behind safety glass and enjoy their squirrel-slaughter cat-fantasies than go out and get torn a new one by a badass squirrel.