It’s like goddamn Wild Kingdom in this apartment.

Yesterday I woke up, started my usual half awake bumbling about in the kitchen.  I was doing last night’s dishes when I heard something weird and scratchy in the living room.

I walk out and both cats are fascinated by the radiator.  Tim is pawing under it and Bijou is on top, pawing down.


I go over and it’s A GODDAMN SQUIRREL.

That door to the balcony had been open 5 minutes maximum.  5 minutes.  I imagine it was eating the last tomatoes of the season and Tim ran out and like a moron it ran into the apartment instead of down the side of the building like any reasonable squirrel would have.

This squirrel (or a similarly cheeky one) has been a pain in my ass for 2 years.  And it’s capped the whole show by showing up in my damn living room.

So I opened the door wider and threw 2 very offended cats into the bedroom.  Bijou in particular gave me a good growly talking to on the subject.  Tim had a more dignified acceptance of his fate.

I gave that squirrel 45 minutes to figure his escape out.  I figured if he didn’t, I would get involved – which was probably a bad plan, but HEY.  It’s not like getting bitten by a squirrel scares me.  I’m now IMMUNE to RABIES.  Who knew it would come in handy?

Squirrel 1 : Sara 0

Possibly Sara -1.

I went out to check on Squirrel 45 minutes later.  It was up in the bars of the radiator still.  Apparently 45 minutes of open safe escape route was not sufficient.

So I decided to drag him out.

I got a broom handle and tried to gently push him.  But let me tell you.  Squirrels are VERY strong.  And because I’m very worried about hurting him I wasn’t going to push too hard.  Plus he made adorable growly grumbles.  Which didn’t do him any harm in making me feel more sympathetic to him.

I finally got him nearly to a place I could grab him and he scuttled back into the radiator grid.

I think he was fully prepared to die there.

So I grabbed his tail and pulled, hoping to drag him out by main force. The screams he emitted could be heard 3 streets away.  They were enough to stop that plan – although it honestly seemed like the most likely solution.

I retreated to the bedroom.  The cats were looking at me like I murdered someone.  They no doubt heard the squirrel scream.

Possibly they were offended that I took care of the murder without them.  It’s hard to tell with cats.

I’m not sure what to do at this point.  I have to leave for work at 11:30ish.  I was not keen on leaving the door wide open when I left.  But I wasn’t sure if I had a choice.

Sigh.  I wonder if I should call off due to squirrel crisis.  That would be utterly ridiculous.

I mean, the odds of anything bad happening due to the open door are mostly small – and hopefully once he gets over himself, he will leave.  And hopefully no other vermin will invade in the meantime.

I made a second attempt to make the squirrel leave later in the morning before leaving for work.   I achieved nothing but changing his position in the radiator and getting the broom bitten.

So  when I went to work, I left the balcony door open, and blocked off the rest of the house, kept the cats locked in the bedroom with litter, water, and food.

But it made me anxious.  Not least because I normally get home after dark and we all know that bats are prone to fly into my apartment.

So I left work early at 6pm and got home while it was still light.  The squirrel was gone.  The cats did a thorough check and there is no squirrel.  I was so relieved.

I am considering burning the apartment down if anymore vermin invade.

My co-workers were joking about a raccoon moving in next and honestly I wouldn’t even be surprised at this point if a raccoon showed up.

I love this apartment, but it’s starting to lose it’s loveliness in the light of the constant vermin.



Even though it doesn’t feel like it, it is Fall.  And Fall brings out a nesting instinct in me.

I want to create a cozy space for the winter.

So I spent money.  This is not something I generally like to do.  But Macys was having a great sale!  20% off clearance.

So I bought a bed in a bag and will soon have a new cozy bedroom.  I have an extra check in October.  I intended to spend it on a sofa.  I have a mostly empty living room with nothing to sit on. But I got distracted by the comforters and one thing led to another.  It was a great deal though, so I still have money for the sofa, but possibly not the rug.

Or I may not spend the money.  I find the savings account very cozy too.  I live in fear of two things – have an emergency without the funds to cover it.  And having people judge me for spending money frivolously.  Only one of those is sane.

I have no idea why it bothers me what ANYONE might think of the way I spend money.   Reality is that they don’t even think about it.  But I think I have been self identifying as “poor” for long enough that spending money on unnecessary things feels like I’m a hypocrite.  But, I’m no longer quite so poor.  I have enough money in every check to save a decent chunk.  But I still think of myself as poor.

Perhaps because I grew up without any money concerns.  Which taught me NO money skills.  When I moved out of the house I was poor.  I just didn’t know it.  And was constantly overspending and getting myself into financial trouble.   Even as I made more money I just felt like I could spend more.

It wasn’t until I became homeless that I recognized the dangers of being poor.  That radically changed how I managed money.  Now I’m frugal in my daily life.  It’s amazing how the daily choices we make can save money.  Bringing lunch to work instead of buying lunch.  Bringing pop to work instead of buying pop.  Not buying every whim.  But sadly my biggest savings came because I’m not social.  Having a social life can be expensive.  I stayed at home, I didn’t go to happy hours or movies or dinners.  All of those choices allowed me to live in a very small income but never to save money.

But for a while now I’ve been bringing home more than I spend and have been saving.  And also spending more.  I go out to eat with a friend about once a month.  I have been more willing to buy new clothing.  And now I’m thinking of dipping into the savings to buy major things.  And the thing that sticks most on that is what other people will think.

Intellectually I know that the savings serves a function and I should preserve this check for the unexpected.  But emotionally I’m worried about what the neighbors will think if I have a sofa delivered.  They are all financially strapped.  It also feels like I don’t belong here anymore if I can afford to buy a sofa?  It’s a weird and entirely irrational feeling.

This off projected shame is ridiculous.  I’m not going spend based on what other people think.  I earned this money, it’s mine and having a living room I can use is not frivolous, it’s just life.