On a typical rainy afternoon, I’m doing readings in my room when I hear the sound of the metal blinds clattering. I turn around and see a black squirrel on the floor of my room. It scampers across the floor. I let out a shriek. The squirrel pauses in the middle of the room.
I don’t usually swear, but the strangeness of this situation prompts me to say, “Fuck, there’s a squirrel in my room.”
I live on the second floor and there are no trees outside my window, so I have no idea how this squirrel managed to get in my room. It must have climbed through the window, but how did it reach the window in the first place?
I take a photo of the squirrel because I cannot believe this is happening and I want proper documentation. My room looks messy in the photo, with clothes scattered about haphazardly.
I walk a bit closer to the squirrel, unsure of what to do. The squirrel chatters angrily. Then it charges towards me. I scream, thinking it’s going to attack me. The squirrel scurries past me and hides in under the gap underneath the heater. This heater and its corresponding gap span the wall of the room where the windows are located.
I run out of my room and down to hall to my RA’s room. The “Where’s the RA sign” indicates the RA is studying. I knock on the door. No response.
I go downstairs. According to the sign on the door, the RA of that floor is in class. There’s another sign posted outside the door with the phone number for the RA on duty. I punch the number in on my phone, but don’t call it yet. I want to first see if maybe the squirrel left by itself.
I walk back to my room. The room is silent. I approach the corner where I last saw the squirrel. The gap beneath the heater is dark, so I can’t see anything. I turn on the flashlight feature on my phone and shine it in the corner. Angry squirrel chatter fills my room. I jump back. I’m scared the squirrel will come out and attack me, so I turn off the flashlight.
I leave the room. Out in the hall, I call the number for the RA on duty. Just then, my RA walks down the hall. I hang up my phone. My RA says, “I was studying - did you knock on my door earlier?”
“Yes,” I said. “There’s a squirrel in my room.”
“Well, I’m really scared of squirrels, so I can’t do anything. I’ll call the male RA who lives on the fourth floor. Also, maybe you should call the front desk.”
I say okay. I continue to wait outside my room.
The girl living in the room across from me comes out into the hall and sees me standing there on my phone, casually leaning against the wall.
She says, “Is everything okay?”
“There’s a squirrel in my room,” I say.
“Really. I thought I heard someone scream earlier.”
“Yeah, that was me.”
My RA comes back and says the RA on the fourth floor is not here and so I should go to the front desk.
I’m currently wearing slippers. I’ll need to change shoes if I’m going outside. I gingerly open the door to my room. Nothing happens. The room is silent. Maybe the squirrel is gone, but I don’t want to risk checking again. The angry squirrel cries scare me. I’m pretty sure wild squirrels can have rabies and I do not want to risk getting attacked. I grab my coat, change my shoes, and go to the commonsblock.
At the commonsblock, I walk up to the front desk. There are two guys on duty, one of them is free. I say, “There is a squirrel in my room.”
“Really?” Guy 1 turns to Guy 2. “There’s a squirrel in her room.
“You don’t want a pet squirrel?” the Guy 2 jokes.
“No,” I say. The squirrel looks like it would bite me if I tried to pet it.
“Talk to housekeeping,” Guy 1 says. “The office is over there.” He points to a room across from the front desk.
I walk to the housekeeping office. There’s no one inside. I try the door - it’s locked. The sign on the office says office hours end at 3:30pm. I check my phone. It’s 3:40pm.
I walk back to the front desk. “The information sign on the housekeeping office says they close at 3:30pm and it’s 3:40pm now.”
Guy 2 says to check inside the lunch room because housekeeping might still be there. Guy 1 goes to check inside the lunch room and comes out with an older guy who works in housekeeping.
The housekeeping guy asks me where I live.
“Hamber,” I reply. “On the second floor.”
We go to my room. On the way there, I ask, “Does this happen a lot? Squirrels going into people’s rooms?”
“Not a lot. But it happens. The squirrels climb up the walls.”
I didn’t realize squirrels could climb up walls. I just assumed they only climb trees.
The housekeeping guy then adds, “Sometimes, the squirrels go to the washroom.”
Initially, I wonder if he means the squirrel is going leave my physical room to go hide in the washroom. It takes me a moment to understand what he means. “You mean they poo? In my room?”
“Ew.” Oh my god, I really hope the squirrel doesn’t shit in my room.
At the entrance to Hamber, the housekeeping guy’s key card doesn’t work, even after multiple tries. So I use mine.
When we reach my room, I open the door. The housekeeping guy walks in. I stay at the door, leaving it wide open. I don’t want to be in the room in case the squirrel comes out and angrily attacks me.
The housekeeping guy gets on his hands and knees and looks around the dark corners of my room. I hold my breath, expecting the squirrel to suddenly jump out of a dark corner and start scratching his face. Nothing. Silence.
The housekeeping guy says, “The squirrel probably left while you were at the front desk. When you left the room, the squirrel no longer felt threatened and climbed out the window.”
“Okay,” I say. I really hope that’s the case. Just to be sure, I check one of the slightly open dresser drawers.
The housekeeping guy says, “Don’t worry, the squirrel wouldn’t hide in a place that small. It prefers bigger places close to the ground.”
I say okay and then ask the housekeeping guy how to turn down the heat in my room. The reason I’d opened the windows in the first place was because my room was too hot.
The housekeeping guy explains how to adjust the heater. I thank him and he leaves the room.
I close the windows and settle back down in my chair. I still expect to hear angry squirrel chatter at any moment, but the room remains silent. I return to my readings.