See, me and nature don’t really get along. I’m not one for bird watching or planting trees. I can appreciate a nice view of the country, but the thought of being stuck there for extended periods of time, makes me break out in hives. I like concrete. And smog. And rude people. Viva la City!
I live in downtown Toronto. My street, lined with prostitutes and the occasional crackhouse, is also lined with trees. I didn’t realise this would bring a veritable Noah’s Ark of wildlife with it.
The hood is home to leagues of city slicker squirrels and raccoons. The problem is that they think they run this shit. The attitudes on these little fellas is unreal. They’re up at all hours throwing parties, trying out their death-defying jumping from tree to tree stunts, walking the tight rope (the telephone cords strung between houses) and generally making a racket.
Most other places, when squirrels see humans, they scurry off, but not inner city squirrels. Oh no. They look at you and give you attitude. They may stop munching on their nuts for a second, but that’s all you get. If they’re in your way, tough shit, they expect you to go around them. They ain’t moving for your human ass. You know why? Because they run this shit.
The other day, as I was making a quick run to the corner shop, I saw a kerfuffle by a tree trunk. Upon closer inspection, it turns out, I had stumbled across some squirrel sex. Right there in broad daylight, up against a tree trunk. Brazen hussies. Legs akimbo, their fluffy squirrel tails swishing this way and that, it was a hot mess. I was appalled. Not only do I have prostitutes and crack heads to deal with, but now, there’s squirrel sex? I need to move.
But the squirrels come second in the pecking order, behind the raccoons. There’s no love lost between the two – it’s like the Bloods and the Crips. Raccoons swan around here like stray dogs. You don’t want to mess with them, because they’re vicious little buggers (or not so little, as the case may be). I came home late a few nights ago to find one chilling out on my doorstep. I waited patiently for it to move and it gave me a look that said ‘what, bitch?’ So I actually said, out loud ‘Umm, can you move?’ I can’t believe I was even forced to do that. I’m like Dr Dolittle up in this piece. I have to negotiate with wildlife to even make it into my own house. ‘If you move now, I’ll give you free reign of the trash cans out back for a week.’
For now, we’re managing to co-exist somewhat harmoniously, but I have a feeling, one day, one of these furry fellas is gonna push me too far.
I guess I can only be thankful I haven’t stumbled across any raccoon sex yet. I’m really not ready for that.