The Scratching in the Ceiling
So anyway, I live on the top floor of a brownstone building out here in Brooklyn. And once in a while I'll be hanging out minding my own business and I'll hear some muffled scratching in the ceiling. In that space between my ceiling and the roof. I'll mute the TV and listen up. Some animal activity is definitely up there. Sounds like they're digging on the wood or something. When Roscoe hears it he'll go over and bark at the noise and sniff the air to see what's up. It's not like major construction going on up there-- but there seems to be some half-assed project ongoing.
I like to think it's just squirrels. There's lots of squirrels in the neighborhood and they gotta go somewhere for the winter I guess. So the idea of that doesn't bother me at all. I like the idea of squirrels up there. I actually leave nuts out on my fire escape for my squirrel friends when it gets cold. I think it's fun to see the them climb ladders out there and see nuts disappear. (Especially this year because apparently all the acorns disappeared or something).
But the thing that concerns me is that it's not squirrels. What if they're mice... or (gulp) mice's monster cousins... rats. Even typing that makes me sort of shiver. The idea of rats being up there freaks me out. The nightmare scenario is the rats dig themselves a hole in my ceiling and all pile in here one day-- and I just have to run into the street and keep running till I hit Pennsylvania or something. I've seen a mouse or two in here over the years but they don't bother me much. But if there was ever a rat in this house I'd have to move and get a new place and set it up like that dude in Creepshow who had the airtight place. (not that that worked out so great for him either).
The problem is if I have my landlord call an exterminator and he puts poison traps up there-- what if they're only squirrels? And the squirrels get all poisoned up? Then I'm a squirrel murderer!? I don't want to be responsible for the murdering of my squirrel friends! And after they're dead, what if they haunt me afterwards and I get squirrel ghosts in here! I don't want that either. Nobody likes squirrel ghosts! (Or squirrel zombies! Who knows how they react in the afterlife! Especially if they're angry with you for murdering them!)
So for now I'm just gonna stay in my fantasy world and not mention the R word in my head. And assume they're my squirrel friends. And just repeat my mantra 'they're just squirrels they're just squirrels they're just squirrels.' Just squirrels. Just saying hello with their scratching. A little thank you wave for the nuts I provided...?
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