Well, I think it's a squirrel. I haven't actually seen it, which is good because if I did I would probably have the epic freakout to end all epic freakouts. I'm basing my assumption that it's a squirrel on past information and anecdotes from my landlord and neighbors/housemates.
Whatever it is, it's always kinda been there. And it's been mostly just annoying, until this past Saturday, when I realized it had found a hole under my sink and was getting into my trash. I pulled my trash out and resolved to call my landlord on Monday. And then, not five minutes later, I saw the cupboard door opening. I ran to it and slammed it shut, and then followed the noise of the animal's mad dash up the wall with my eyes and ears. I called my landlord, who told me that it would be hard to get somebody to come deal with the problem the next day, "it being Sunday and all." And then I left my house as calmly as I could, called my friend, went to her house and promptly lost my shit. I spent the night at her house that night, and then made it through Sunday without incident (it helped that I had blocked the cupboards with chairs). All the while, all I could think was that I was living through my own personal version of The Money Pit. My nightmare is that the squirrel will jump out at me and...gah. I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to watch that movie again.
Cut to Monday: this kindly old man, who either works for my landlord or actually owns the house, comes to take a look. His solution is to put a trap under the sink and for me to call him if/when the squirrel gets caught. I stare at him and nod, because I don't know what else to do. I go to work so tightly wound up that I'm on the verge of tears for the first half hour.
When the kindly old man called my cell phone I nearly jumped ten feet in the air, and he told me that my landlord had decided to do something else, but he didn't know what. At that point I had to step away for a few minutes and cry. When I finally got to talk to my landlord, he told me that they were actually going to bring in an animal control company the next day and really try to get to the bottom of the problem once and for all. I felt relieved and grateful, and I thought that, ok, it's almost over.
Except that it's not. As far as I can tell, no one has come to look at the house, and the squirrel is still here, and it is a persistent little fucker. I've still got the chairs blocking the cupboards (which makes it hard to use the sink), but now it's back in the ceiling, and about an hour ago it seemed to be trying very, very hard to tear away at one of the ceiling tiles. And so I'm terrified of being at my house, and equally scared of leaving. If this thing is going to invade my kitchen, I want to be here to try and get rid of it - don't I?
And the worst part of this is that so many people keep saying "call animal control!" as if I haven't thought of that. If it were up to me, I'd have dealt with this a long time ago. But that's the thing about renting: I'm at the mercy of these people's laziness/cheapskateness, and I can bug them as much as I want, but how much good does it do me? Yeah, I could call someone to come get the squirrel, but then I'd get stuck with the bill, and I know there's no way that my landlord would reimburse me.
And so I feel like a broken record: OMG SQUIRREL! AGAIN! And I hate it, because there are other things going on, in my life and in the world at large, and all I can think about is the damn squirrel. And I don't want to complain about it, because everyone's automatic response is "call animal control" but there are reasons why I can't/won't, and so I feel like I should just shut up about it. But holy mother of whatever there is a squirrel trying to invade my kitchen and it is turning me into a paranoid ball of shattered nerves and I just want it to get dealt with. I feel like I've been on the verge of a panic attack for a week now and it's just one thing after another and I just need something good to happen. Just one thing, even if it has nothing to do with the squirrel. I feel like there are so many things in my life that are up in the air and the longer they stay there the less likely it becomes that they'll ever get resolved.