Just before Christmas, we paid more than $5,000 to get a bunch of squirrels (and their rat friends) out of the area between the first and second stories of the house, and to repair the damage they'd done to the roof. /o\
This is maddening. Back when we had the Whale, we had no squirrels in our yard. Any skunks, possom, or raccoons that passed through didn't stay for long, and our problems with mice and rats ended once we started putting the Whale out at night. But then we lost him to kidney failure 5 1/2 years ago, poor guy. :(
Before the Whale, we had another male cat who kept the critters out of the yard, so until this year, we never realized how bad our problem could be. The kitty we lost in December was worthless as a hunter (she was afraid of the outdoors), so the situation has been building for awhile. We're still looking for a new cat, and really hoping for an indoor/outdoor cat that hunts, but no results thus far. We really don't want to be forced into a weird situation where we might have an outdoor-only barn cat and an indoor-only house cat. Oh Whale, why did you leave us so soon? :(
The Whale was a large animal, but I don't think that's necessary for a good hunter. The other male cat, Thor, was only about 11.5 pounds. There's no telling whether Thor's sister, the 6.5-pound runt kitty, was any good at hunting, since her main prey was the rubberbands the mail carrier used to dump at the postal station in the middle of the block. Tigger overlapped with both Thor and the Whale, so her abilities (or lack thereof) were never obvious. No string or pencil was safe from her, but that's not saying much.
When I say 'large,' I mean biggish, but not freakishly huge. 'Huge' brings the "Absolute Unit" sub-Reddit to mind. Fortunately, that has mostly devolved into people posting pictures of animals (often, their own animals), rather than human beings. Some of the critters are obviously fatlets, and others... who can tell? The sheer verticality in that one is too distracting to judge. Plus, whatever is going on here. There are also several rabbits of an alarmingly large breed. Like, phobia-alert large. :O
The "Chonker" sub-Reddit is mostly cats, missing the opportunity to feature something like this fellow here. He could be puffing out his feathers a little bit, but wow. He looks less like a bird and more like a croquet ball in a bird costume. :O
By contrast, the Whale was merely of the "I take up an entire sofa cushion by myself" and "My bed is a dog-bed" size. Big and long, but not in a "Did my mother secretly breed with another species?" kind of way. :)