Over-Intelligent Rodents

Aidan Chappuis, Journalist

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I would like to tell you a story. A story of the only rodent who has ever bested our cats, a rodent that will live in infamy.

My mother and I were just getting home from picking up my bike from a friend’s. As I went up the stairs ahead of her, I saw a small rodent, which looked like a cross between a chipmunk and a dormouse. It had the body shape and tail width of a chipmunk, but the coloration and eyes of a dormouse.

The rodent in question was sitting serenely on the end of our railing, about 3 feet above the floor, having somehow figured out what every mouse in our history had not, while below it our 2 cats, Simian and Griffin, were going berserk attempting to get at it. As I saw this, I attempted to catch both the cats, so I could lock them in the bathroom and get the rodent out in peace, but only managed to get Simian and scared the mystery rodent onto the floor, right near Griffin, the mouser of the two. It dodged her attempt to pounce, and then, somehow, unlike every rodent she has ever tried to catch, freaked her out. The cat ran upstairs, away from the still uncannily calm rodent. Simian went in the bathroom.

The rodent then ran to a corner, between out counter and our wall, under a chair. My sister heard the commotion and come out of the office, and she and my mom attempted to catch it with a cardboard box and a blanket. It climbed the chair, and hung onto the top, a nearly vertical surface, right above the box. At this point, we still had no idea what the thing was, other than the fact that it had just outsmarted both our cats.

We finally managed to trap it in the box, at which point it started banging the sides, trying to get out. My sister loosened her grip on the top slightly, leaving a small gap near the center. Suddenly, the rodent jumped straight through the hole, rocketing a foot into the air. My mother and sister jumped back several feet in horror at the furry projectile while batting at the air. One of them hit the rodent. Turns out it was a flying squirrel. It glided 10 feet away, and landed on our floor. We only managed to get it out after we trapped it under a plastic container and slid it over to the door, where it disappeared into the night.

Apparently, flying squirrels do live in MA

The rodent, finally trapped