Yesterday I found Squirrely Temple splayed out and unconscious on the dirt under the tree she usually perches on to chatter menacingly at me for existing.

This is squirrely Temple being her normal self, for comparison:

I thought maybe she’d fainted from heatstroke so I grabbed some water to pour over her but when I got close she rolled over on her side and growled at me.

I was still worried though so I looked up “what do I do if my squirrel has heat stroke?” and google was like, “Did you mean to ask: ‘IS YOUR SQUIRREL SPLOOTING?‘”

I was like, “I absolutely was not” but I still clicked on it and turns out that tons of people are finding seemingly dead squirrels splayed out in their yards and it’s become so common that there is a name for it. Squirrel Splooting. Google assures me that seeing squirrels splooting is very normal during heat waves because they press their bellies to the the cooler ground to regulate their temperature and that you should just leave some water out for them, so I made a tiny Barbie pool for Squirrely Temple. She glared at me and growled at it like the ungrateful bitch she is, which was very reassuring and I’m glad she’s already back to her old self.

Conclusion: Please leave some water out for your splooting wildlife friends, even if they’re occasionally dicks. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.


Read comments below or add one.

  1. Absolutely “our” squirrels are splooting on our deck, deck railing, picnic table, and we have four birdbaths, two on the ground and deck so they’re staying hydrated too. So are the chipmunks, and the dad bluebird has furiously been feeding his two kids mealworms from the mealworm cage feeder. They can fly but still need Dad’s help. The newspaper (WaPo I think?) had a splooting article.

  2. There is no way our dogs would allow splooting in our yard. I hope none around here try it or we may be the recipient of an unwanted guest in the house at some point.

  3. Thinking further on this… I have two good-sized pieces of marble (the size of a cheese board) that my chinchillas had in their cages in case they got too hot (I don’t think any of them ever used their marble slabs once, since I was so paranoid about their temp to begin with). Google says, “Because of the density of marble, it can quickly conduct heat from the sun, but the heat is quickly dissipated and transferred to other items in its surroundings, making those areas cooler.” Maybe I’ll put those out in the shade in the backyard for any splooting wild life that might be about. Would be nice if they were used for their intended purpose at least once. LOL It’s been hot here in SoCal, too! Stay cool everyone!

  4. I don’t mind in the least if our squirrels drink from our bird fountains, but I sure wish they’d stop eating our string lights, the little idiots.

  5. See also, “flat rabbit,” which is what we say when we see the bunnies like this in the flower beds.

    I don’t know if I can say “squirrel sploot” out loud without giving myself a case of the snorts, but I will try.

  6. I’ve been considering renaming our WiFi network and now ‘SquirrelSplooting’ has moved to the top of my list of ideas.

  7. I take my cat camping (What? No, YOU’RE weird) and one time we got caught during a heat wave. He mostly splayed out on his back in some shady dirt. I rubbed his belly with ice cubes and he pushed my hand down to ice his phantom balls. Poor kitty!

  8. Any squirrel splooting around here is going to get eaten by a hawk or a fox or maybe even a snake. Good luck to them.

  9. This has NOTHING to do with your post, but I have to share anyway. On my commute there is a house with a giant metal chicken on their porch and every time I see it I think “Knock knock motherfucker” and I laugh. I also wonder if they’re EVER going to take that giant metal chicken inside!

  10. My dog on the tole floor in the Florida heat. AKA Frog dog position.

  11. I was just literally seriously talking to someone earlier this week about animal splooting! It is an odd and peculiar thing that apparently bears and other animals will do during hot days. I mean cats and dogs do it obviously so why not wild creatures?

  12. Sploot, sploot! And yeah, I’d set up a motion-activated cam for that Barbie pool Squirrely Temple’s little nails are likely to split that pool to shredded bits.

  13. My squirrels sploot to cool off, but I’ve never seen one roll over on its side like that. Did you go back and check on her later?

  14. I have a squirrel splooting in the crotch of the tree right outside my window right now! Wow, that was a sentence I never thought I’d type!

  15. My cats do the same thing in my fake marble loo sink bowls. Usually when I’m trying to brush my teeth. 🙄 At least now I have the correct terminology to say to them: “Stop splooting and get outta the sink!”

  16. A few years ago I was house sitting for my mom. Her yard backs up to a creek but it had been super hot with no rain for a few weeks. I bought a dog pool and put it in back with some paving stones for weight and perches, and turned on the trail cam. The raccoons were so very happy.
    My mom was unsympathetic, saying they could use the creek but the videos I got were totally worth it

  17. As I spent a good part of my day leaving ice water (in bowls on top of ice packs) all around my yard and in the jungle behind me (Florida). So far Rhonda and Frank, our roaming neighborhood chickens-free range I assume, our story cat I can’t catch….yet..Nemo (maybe a Fiona) , as well as Captain fuzzy pants (clearly female with the babies she brings as well) our long term rascal raccoon. I do this happily. The heat is horrible. No squirrels yet.

  18. I really thought splooting meant something utterly disgusting that surely happened to me…but now I know! Cheers to education

  19. OK squirrels looting is a new thing for me, but I had no idea they could growl! That’s my big takeaway. Now I’m imagining them all pissed off in the trees growling at me.

  20. Now I know what to tell my wife when she asks me what I’m doing… I’m splooting because it’s so effing hot!

  21. Squirrel splooting!
    Good to know that is what it is called. When my mother’s cat used to get too hot, she would lie eagle spread in the cast iron enamel claw foot tub or in the sinks that way.

  22. Good to know! This morning was so grossly hot and humid; when it rained the other day, we had steam. I feel for our wild friends.

  23. Little Girl Squirrel was nursing and we met whilst doing the same (Bhub was born 6/03), in the front yard, under her Red Maple.

    It was a HOT summer and I first saw her sploot on the driveway, under the Mommyvan.

    I turn the spaghetti hose (1/10” diameter) onto trickle and let it run about a foot away from her.

    Then I crawled under there with her.

    [Bhub was under Mitzie, the Maple, in his stroller, with Moxie (the Char-Pei/Lab) and Moses (Bhub’s twin kitten – born 90 minutes apart) watching over him.]

    They were splooting, too.

    We all splooted comfortably, all that summer. Taking turns with offspring nursing as they were wont.

    It was the first real summer of splooting I consciously recall. Suburban neighborhoods being foreign to me, up to that point.

    I hope LGS knows what a huge impact she had (and HAS, still!) on me, and how much being in tandem as a nursing elderly multigravida with her meant.

  24. Honestly heat makes me a droopy ground-hugging bitch too, so glass houses. Have you considered making her a little cooler to climb into? Just carve a squirrel-sized hole into the bottom & set up a little lounge out of those reusable ice blocks. Put in some tiny margaritas & broken tortilla chips & it’s a party! Of course the next thing you know, you’re dealing with an angry horde of drunk squirrels who just want some freakin’ SERVICE OVER HERE!! So, I guess the moral of the story is be stingy with the tequila

  25. To clarify, squirrels can be pricks and ducks are dicks. And they all deserve water — even the human penises in this heat.

  26. I feel like your post was sponsored by the SSA (Squirrel Support Alliance).

    (They owe me a check. ~ Jenny)

  27. As a human servant to one very spoiled leopard gecko, I am very aware of splooting, and treasure each sploot I get to witness. It’s a very good sign, and I am always happy to see Cashandra (formerly Cash, when we thought we had a boy gecko; then we found an egg and realized he was a she) contentedly splooting in her enclosure.

  28. My squirrels sploot on the carport concrete during the summer. They have shade and cool concrete. What squirrel could ask for more? Oh yes, they have a fountain too.

  29. I’m splooting in bed right now and I have to scoot over every few minutes because the cold spot gets warm.

  30. We toss bird seed out on our patio so that our cat can watch the wildlife and last summer I caught a squirrel out there in a full body sploot, face buried in the bird seed just stuffing himself.

  31. A few years ago, our Super Herder Dog Daisy (3 different herding breeds) was circling something and barking at my husband. He looked and got me. There was a squirrel being eaten by flies. I got some gloves. The little guy, proven by Inspection, was so poor off he made no noise. I tried to see if moving him made a difference. It didn’t. I took him to our back porch cat house* and gave him some water. He didn’t move towards it. Having watched My friend give infant kittens bottles, I went and got a medicine syringe (no needle), filled out with water, and was able to get him to drink. I was so overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude that I had been given an opportunity to help this creature.

    *the cat house is trying to attract a back porch cat. We lost our back cat, Maxine, in 2015 and I still miss that girl. She was a calico and so pretty.

  32. I’ve never been growled at by a squirrel so that’s exciting. I see mine sploot then army crawl through the grass. My kitten also sploots which always prompts me to whisper to him about his “precious long leggies and apricot beans.”

  33. I’ve heard that one of the reason cats can get extra cuddly on hot days is because our body temp is lower than theirs. If it’s hot enough we’re actually a cool spot for them.

  34. This is awesome and hilarious. It is always best to provide water in a container or, in case of emergency, even in a dip in the ground. During a hot summer and especially during the fires, koalas were coming to humans for water. Some poured water from water bottles for koalas, which made wildlife people VERY upset because well-meaning people might accidentally drown them.

    Side note: During the fires some authors raised money for firefighters. I boosted their efforts by interviewing authors for my podcast and posting guest blogs. Then I made some thank you cards. One of them is a koala firefighter.

  35. I recently did see a dead squirrel on the street, and it looked like it was sleeping on its side. An hour later, as I drove by it again, it had been pulped into a red and brown mess by other cars, poor little mo-fo.

  36. The squirrels in the park near me drape themselves dramatically over the backs of the benches.

  37. If you want a laugh, Google ‘flying squirrel fake death’. Absolutely hilarious!

  38. I see our neighborhood cats cashewed over in-ground lawn sprinkers, which of course are like bathroom sinks, but lined with grass.

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