All The Many Ways I Told You So

Mmm, hmm. There are things I know and know with certainty. There are things I know that people deny. There are things I say that are fundamentally true but are denied time and again by those around me.

Know this, good readers of my blog: Squirrels are vermin. They are not cute, they are not cuddly, and they are not adorable. They are rodents and should be treated as such.

I say this to the squirrel huggers and they tell me that I’m being silly. I say plague and they scoff.

So here’s how we are going to play this today. I am going to repost something I wrote in 2007. And then at the end I’ll give you an update to show you just how exactly 100% right I am.

Then I will do a superior dance. You’ll have to just visualize that one but know I’m dancing hard like I’m counting coup.

I am a woman of the west. The real west. The range land, unpopulated and dirt covered west. I know things. Behold.


People who are not like us…

First published June 12, 2007

So, where I live, we have a lot of squirrels. Now when I say “a lot of squirrels” I don’t mean “oh my, there’s quite a few out there”. I mean a whole horde, an army, a remuda, of squirrels.

They run around everywhere, up and down power lines, around trees, hither and yon. When I go for a walk at noontime from work, I walk down this one street and they scatter in all directions like a squirrely sea of doom.

People here think they are cute. Find them amusing. The fluffy tails make them laugh. People here FEED THEM. Yes, they put out food for the little b*stards.

They don’t understand my revulsion, my utter HORROR that these vermin are allowed to roam free in a civilized society.

They don’t understand this because I am a New Mexican. One of the bonus features of being raised in New Mexico is, da da dummmmmm, bubonic plague.

In fact, according to an article in today’s ABQjournal, there have already been four cases this year, including a boy who died.

To quote the article, “Plague, a bacterial disease, is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, such as rodents, wildlife and pets.”

Unh huh, no wonder every little rat with a fluffy tail gets the suspicious eye from me. Early on in life my mom would yell at all us kids to stay back from any wild creature, especially the small rodenty kind.

I will not draw one of those beady-eyed plague-carrying varmints closer to me or my home! I live in a duplex and for a while my next door neighbor put out bird seed with no cover or protection from the squirrels. I would stare horrified out my living room window to see a swarm of the things eating with reckless abandon in my back yard.


In my old place, a couple of squirrely warriors had an epic territory battle on the roof right over my apartment. Not only did I have to hear the squeals and the death call of the loser, I *freaked out* about the dead rodent right there over my doorway. As you know, fleas leave the dead rodent searching for a new home.

I shall print out the referenced article and keep copies handy for the next person who looks me and says “how can you not like squirrels, they are sooooo *cute*!!”

I’m keeping an eye on you, you plaugey b*stards!!!!


And now, the update and my vindication:

Plague-Infected Squirrel Closes California Campground

A plague-infected squirrel has closed a California campground for at least a week, according to Los Angeles County health officials.

The squirrel, trapped July 16 in the Table Mountain Campgrounds of Angeles National Forest, tested positive for the infection Tuesday, prompting a health advisory and the closing of the campground while investigators tested other squirrels and dusted the area for plague-infected fleas.

…L.A. County health officials are urging Angeles National Forest campers to avoid contact with wild animals, steer clear of squirrel burrows and report any dead squirrels to the department of health. (emphasis added)

Oh! Oh! There it is. The I Told You So Dance.

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  • Lucky

    I swear I am not making this up.

    My mother-in-law hated squirrels, and several of them took up residence in the house, they got in under the roof. She left her copy of the old Joy of Cooking open to the page which instructed one how to cook squirrels (ick), and yelled “I have recipes!”

    A week later, no more squirrels. She didn’t even have to eat them, just threaten to.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Lucky – Oh wow, I had no idea the mere threat of stew would skeer ’em off. I have my mom’s 1954 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I should take a peek in there. Shake my fists and read the recipe!

  • Beth in Taos

    Yup, we had to stop putting out birdseed for the birds because the rock squirrels would come along and fill up their fat cheeks with the seed. I wouldn’t have minded that (they’ve gotta eat, too) but I worried about the plague they might be carrying; they were coming into the backyard where our dogs spend a lot of time.

    Lucky, I love your story! When I was a kid (back East, where the squirrels don’t carry plague and people don’t know plague still exists) my mom once made Brunswick Stew with some squirrel meat after my dad went squirrel hunting and I was forced to eat it. It was terrible, probably more so because I knew what it was, and I hated the thought of eating those cute little squirrels.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Beth – Yeah, sure, the buggars gotta eat but by their numbers they are doing just fine. They are supposed to forage in nature, not a bird feeder. Yes, keep them away from your pets. One plaguey flea hops on your beloved pet and you have a world of problems ahead.

  • emmett

    And there you are in the epicenter of the plague in the western states!
    Thank the San Francisco city fathers of yore for failing to deal with it to prevent losing business.
    Delayed and delayed until dying rodents showed up in Oakland and it was too late.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Emmett – SF is still a boom town and rats (two legged and four legged) always run toward a boom town. Plenty of plaguey beasts both literally and metaphorically left in the big city.

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