Did a squirrel deliberately pee on me?
March 17, 2010 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Did a squirrel deliberately pee on my head?

Picture me, resting in my hammock, enjoying a gorgeous afternoon, when a light mist hits my face. I look up and make eye contact with a squirrel on a branch some ten feet overhead. The squirrel immediately runs off.

I realize there's a good chance that this was a coincidence. But is it possible a squirrel would mark/defend his territory by squirting me?
posted by dirk gently to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, they do mark territory with urine. I suspect this means you're engaged.
posted by HuronBob at 2:46 PM on March 17, 2010 [58 favorites]

Best answer: I'm not finding anything online about squirrels using urine aggressively. I suppose it is possible that this is the first squirrel in the history of the internet to get the idea to pee on somebody, but generally animals behave consistently with each others. If squirrels don't pee in general when they're being aggressive, this one probably wasn't peeing on you to be aggressive.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:49 PM on March 17, 2010

Odds are it was just peeing, and didn't realize you were a person since you weren't moving. You opened your eyes and scared it off. Plus, they intentional antagonize my dogs yet never pee on them -- you'd think that would be a weapon of choice if they'd thought of it.
posted by davejay at 2:56 PM on March 17, 2010

Mod note: Bunch of comments removed. Please send squirrel jokes to Readers Digest.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:22 PM on March 17, 2010 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I don't know if the squirrel peed on you intentionally or not, but I do know that they're smarter than they appear. We had an old tree in our front yard that housed a serious, well-established squirrel nest and so correspondingly, the tree was getting weaker and weaker in the trunk over time. After a serious storm that dislodged some large branches, my Dad finally decided to cut the tree down. I had a couple of conversations with him about the nest and how he'd be dislodging our long-time squirrel tenants, but you could not come between my Dad and a yard project involving a chainsaw. So buzz, timber!

A day or so later, the remins of the tree are sitting neatly stacked in the front yard. I'm sitting in the living room when I hear scratching at the front door which is not too unusual, as we had a rather large herd of cats. So I open the door and there's a squirrel sitting on the porch railing, chattering at me angrily. It looked me in the eye, looked at the remains of the tree, looked back at me, then scampered away across the street. Needless to say I was pretty incredulous, but I did manage to shout after it, "I didn't do it! My Dad cut the tree down!" I've been a little wary of squirrels ever since, as it seems they are smart enough to knock on doors to get my attention. So you might want to review your recent squirrel-human interactions, to see if you might have unintentionally irritated you neighborhood squirrel population!

I swear the above story is entirely true!
posted by kittyloop at 3:43 PM on March 17, 2010 [71 favorites]

Squirrels (especially squirrels that have become territorial) are assholes. The squirrels in my yard frequently stand on the fence and give me hell if I so much as walk through the back yard. They chatter at me, stare at me, make little fists at me. Fortunately, I kind of like the little bastards. It would not surprise me one little bit if one of them peed on me. I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened. And it probably hasn't happened because the only time I'm under them is when I'm mowing and they are smart enough to fear the mower. (They know I'm not going to bother them.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:19 PM on March 17, 2010

Was the squirrel making any chittery-chattery noises before it peed? Those are the classic signs of squirrel escalation and outrage. Urination is often a sign of either territorial behavior or of terror in mammals, so it's plausible.

If you hadn't heard any squirrelly noises, then I'd think it was just going about its business and happened to pee on you. Also, I would probably be leery of that hammock, since it may not have been the first time the squirrel did its business there.
posted by ErikaB at 4:20 PM on March 17, 2010

Yeah they do that. Tried to discuss it with folks but no one believes me. The squirrels obviously don't care.
posted by Namlit at 4:52 PM on March 17, 2010

Once, when I was a teenager, I chased a squirrel up a tree for giggles. I stood under the tree, looking up at him and snickering, and he looked down at me and started pooping. I ran off pretty quickly and didn't bother the squirrel population again.

I couldn't say if my squirrel or yours was acting out of malice, but I don't trust those guys.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:56 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

If the tree the squirrel was sitting in was a maple tree, most likely it was the tree peeing on you and not the squirrel.
posted by JJ86 at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2010

True story : I was walking through the woods behind my house, when something started pelting me with some kind of nut. I picked up one of the nuts to look at it, and it had the marks of two tiny chisel-like front teeth. I then heard some chattering that sounded strangely like laughing.

I keep a close eye on squirrels now, you never know what they might be planning in their little squirrel brains.
posted by HopperFan at 6:03 PM on March 17, 2010

Look, squirrels are smart little bastards. They ate my tomatoes, tried out my hot peppers and generally made a mockery of my container plants on my roofdeck.

Do I think they'd intentionally pee on your head? You bet I do!
posted by vivzan at 6:07 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a large oak in front of the house. For a time when I first bought the place, I slept in the living room (the bedroom was in disrepair) at the front of the house. My car, whose alarm was set to the lowest sensitivity, was often parked under the tree.

The first day after I got laid off, and for the next six weeks, I'd hear *donk* WHOOWHOOWHOOWHOOWHOO! Little bastards were dropping acorns on my car for kicks.

So yes, they do this sort of thing.

(After six weeks of that bullshit, one morning I took the pneumatic potato gun, filled it with acorns - hell, my sidewalk looked like chocolate-chip cookie dough - and returned the gift. They got the hint.)
posted by notsnot at 6:13 PM on March 17, 2010 [6 favorites]

I'm glad to hear other smart, asshole squirrel stories; I thought I was imagining what I'd seen. They used to like to pelt sea grapes at my dog, tag-teaming so that one would taunt her on the ground, while the other was on the opposite side of her, perched on the fence launching sea grape missiles. Just for laughs. They were way smarter than her, god rest her soul.
posted by inkytea at 9:06 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yes, uhhh...someone close to me...very close...as a child...something like this happened to them. After spending some time chattering to a squirrel, the squirrel did, in fact, urinate in the direction of the person in question. No names named, and I will never mention this again.
posted by redsparkler at 1:36 AM on March 18, 2010

It's a Zen thing.
posted by banshee at 8:29 AM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

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