Flamboyant rats.

It’s my laptop’s 10th birthday today.

…Is what I would say if I knew when exactly I purchased this laptop. It is approximately 10 years old though, and often struggles to connect to our wireless network. On these days, I sometimes resort to using a 3-foot-long ethernet cable which essentially tethers me 3 feet away from the cats’ shitting den as our modem is located above it.

At this point, there is no need for a new laptop, merely a want. “Laptop” isn’t going on my shopping list anytime soon.

If it isn’t the smell of the catbox keeping me away from mashing at the keyboard, then it’s the squirrels. They are so distractingly cute!

Yesterday morning I set out to pick up some body wash and mail a parcel. The pharmacy/post office is only a 10-minute walk, yet the mission took me an hour to complete.

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Behold, my favourite city-dwelling animal with my favourite cookie in its mouth!

There must have been an old lady on a park bench nearby, yelling out, “Chips ahoy!” as she chucked double chocolate chip cookies like frisbees at a scurry of squirrels.

And then you have me, an easily-distracted millennial, stalking squirrels, for the purposes of sharing a video on social media.

Could this be the next pizza rat? I should get better footage:

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I was starting to wonder if any of the neighbours were looking out their windows, watching me follow around a squirrel with my phone, and whether they were filming me filming the squirrel.

I opened the gate to one of the buildings, and slowly approached Cookie Squirrel, who had stopped to enjoy his chocolatey disc in front of somebody’s door, but he quickly fled leaving behind his prize.

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I wasn’t that into squirrels until I moved to Québec. The squirrels here maintain a certain “je ne sais quoi” not found in the squirrels of Vancouver. I thought about this as I continued my walk down the garbage lined street.

Oh, that’s it.

To humans, it was garbage day in the neighbourhood of La Petite-Patrie, but to squirrels, it was buffet day. In Vancouver, household garbage gets tossed in a large metal waste container in the back alley while residents of Montréal are forced to showcase their wasteful ways on the curbside once or twice a week.

Montréal’s archaic waste collection system played a role in my interest in squirrels.

Somehow, the raccoons have not taken note of this. I am not even sure raccoons live in Montréal: I’ve never seen one. I have gone three years without seeing a raccoon!

Last year, I made sure I’d never go a day without seeing an image of a squirrel by adding this to the back of my left calf:

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Tattoo done by Evan Dowdell.

Sometimes I get distracted by my own leg and trip over it.

In spite of all the distractions in my life, I am still able to get things like mailing parcels done. I am a successful squirrel-obsessed woman who smells like tea tree oil body wash.

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