One squirrel, two squirrels, three squirrels more?

The last squirrel?

“Do you know why my room is dirty?” 15-year-old Mark asked me on Friday.

Yes, I said, but it’s a long story.

It started at 5 a.m. Friday. I rose from bed to finish up on the weekend edition of In the Now and a couple of other items when I heard a sound coming from the attic.


So naturally, I put the cat in the attic to chase them off.

Boots, or Boops as he is sometimes known, is great at chasing things but doesn’t know how to go in for the kill. That’s alright; I don’t want to kill squirrels, I just don’t want them in the attic.

A short time later, a full-grown squirrel appeared in Mark’s room, with Boots in hot pursuit. They ran numerous clockwise circles around the room, right by me each time, and after two laps I decided to catch the squirrel on the third and toss him out the window.

By that time the squirrel changed its course. It jumped on the bed and leaped at the window, which was, of course, closed. He did it one more time before I decided to open the window, and on the third lap, the squirrel jumped to its freedom, uninjured. Boots stopped at the window and came back in.

Boots looks out the windows at the great outdoors, but doesn’t long to be outside.

Problem solved. Sarah asked about lunch and we headed out. We considered going to Crema Brew, but switched to either Kitchen on Trent or Sweet Pea’s, finally deciding on Kitchen on Trent because we hadn’t been there in awhile.

Kitchen on Trent is such an interesting restaurant. Community patriarchs hold court there during breakfast and matriarchs have their luncheon there. The food is absolutely amazing and the staff there is a well-oiled machine.

I ordered the chicken primavera.

“No,” said the man at the register.

“No?” I said.

He leaned in and said, frankly, “I’m just trying to help you out, man. You will have to wait awhile for it.”

OK, then, so I ordered the pizza special, not really wanting the pizza special but I didn’t have a Plan B.

The pizza special was so amazing that Sarah traded her turkey meatloaf for it, which is what I would have gotten if I had a Plan B.

Owner Curt Williamson said Kitchen on Trent has a loyal and efficient staff that has been working for him a long time. The restaurant was started in 1997 and has tripled in size since then. It may just be a storefront in a strip mall, but inside, you won’t find anything better in New York or Atlanta.

But I digress.

Sarah and I had an assignment downtown and we drove down Trent Boulevard to where it turns into Pollock Street, then took that on toward Downtown.

As we came up to Tryon Palace, I noticed a group around Daves House, taking a man’s picture next to the Daves House sign.

Tryon Palace is pretty famous, but Daves House? Not so much.

“He’s probably named Dave,” said Sarah, who was driving.

Testing her theory, as we drove even with the group, I rolled my window down and shouted, “Hey Dave!”

They all turned, smiled, waved, then looked puzzled. We continued on and completed our assignment (Sarah’s The Pulse column).

Later, as we took a break, we heard the cat running around upstairs for a good half hour. He does that, because he’s a cat. But then a different squirrel came running down the stairs. Our small, insignificant dog Bucky joined in the chase from one end of the house to the other and back until the squirrel found a safe resting spot under the couch.

Of course, I tilted the couch back to get a better look, and Sarah joined in with the plan to catch the squirrel by the tail.

The squirrel, exhausted by now, made one last dash across the house, was cornered by the dog, and as I approached, it ran up my leg and into my hands.

The product of a recent litter, I took pity on the poor thing and let it go in the tree behind the house.

I hope it learned its lesson because I didn’t.

But anyway, that’s why Mark’s room was a mess.