UC Berkeley presents: Squeako Atsume

nekosquirrels
Franchesca Spektor/Staff

Most everyone has heard of Neko Atsume, the Japanese app that allows you to collect virtual cats by leaving out food and goodies for them to enjoy while you’re away. Fewer people, however, have heard of Squeako Atsume, UC Berkeley’s very own real-life equivalent to the popular game. By leaving behind different types of food and items on campus, players can collect and take pictures of a wide range of squirrels, all of which leave behind their own special memento for you to keep. To help the enthusiastic collector out, we’ve compiled our own “Rare Squirrels Guide” that will help you on your way to Squeako Atsume greatness. Good luck — and here’s to not getting a visit from Tubbs — er, Chubbs.

Sather

Personality: Monumental

Power Level: 25

This squirrel can be enticed to appear pretty easily; leave behind a flyer from Sproul and she’ll show up within 10 minutes, or fewer. Although she’s old and gray, she can still climb trees and hop branches with the best of them, chasing after abandoned leaflets that are tossed into the air by the wind. She leaves behind one of those cardboard Campanile hats that everyone wanted during Homecoming but that nobody could manage to get.

Alpha Beta Psquirrel

Personality: Fratboy

Power Level: 45

Alpha Beta Psiquirrel, or Alphie, appears when you leave out snapbacks, chinos or button-down shirts. You might have to wait a while to see him, but when he does show up he’ll bring along a loudly chittering group of four or five other squirrels that look just like him. Constantly punching each other in the shoulders and referring to each other as “bro,” the whole group will clear out whatever food you’ve put out. Despite this, they’re a generous group — Alphie and his friends will always leave behind a bunch of bids for that frat party Friday night you’ve been itching to attend.

Twitchy

Personality: Overcaffeinated

Power Level: 60

Perpetually trembling and grinding her teeth nervously, Twitchy has eyes that are so big they look like they’re constantly about to pop out of her head. She’ll show up if you leave out anything that has caffeine in it— especially a large Black Tie from GBC — but won’t actually go get it until the wee hours of the morning. She leaves behind a tiny alarm clock that goes off at 3 a.m., reminding you to wake up and continue working on your homework. Sometimes you worry that all the stress and caffeine is driving her “nuts.”

SquEECS

Personality: Hacker

Power Level: 100

SquEECS is a quirky, quiet squirrel that appears if you leave a USB drive behind — but only if there’s a burrito from Qualcomm set out as well — he’s a little picky. SquEECS is a little shy, so it’s hard to see him in person, but everyone knows what he looks like, thanks to all the pictures of him on social media. Somehow, his tiny paws seem to have developed carpal tunnel syndrome. He’ll leave behind a scrap of paper with the password to a Wi-Fi network that actually works — a highly coveted prize. 

Chubbs the Squirrel

Personality: Choosy Consumer

Power Level: 185

The notorious Chubbs doesn’t care which goodies you leave for him. He’ll show up for any type of food, as long as there’s a lot of it. Be warned: He’ll eat everything you leave and will come after you if you’re holding anything else, aggressively chittering and trying to climb up your leg to get to your sandwich. There are horror stories of people being chased across the whole campus by Chubbs, which is surprising considering he is so fat that he can barely climb a tree. Despite all the trouble, Chubbs will leave you with nothing but a few crumbs and an empty stomach to boot.

Chancellor Fur-ks

Personality: Academic

Power Level: 250

Easily distinguished by his bushy, white tail and tiny, squirrel-sized glasses, Fur-ks is also the only squirrel on campus that boasts a giant mustache, something that probably makes up for at least half the fur on his body. He shows up when you leave out papers, midterms and finals in which you’ve scored at least two standard deviations above the curve and does so a lot more frequently when there are big events going on, such as Cal Day, Homecoming or Convocation. He won’t leave you anything tangible, but every time you check your phone after one of his visits, you’ll see that he’s left you at least 20 emails. Probably more.

Osquirrel

Personality: Creepy

Power Level: 666

The only squirrel to wear white gloves, he wrings his paws together while sitting, staring you down with an unblinking, expressionless gaze. Osquirrel is attracted by Cal gear, especially pennants. But a recording of screaming children can also get him to appear. He leaves behind a lingering sense of dread and existential terror, which you may have felt when he presented you with one of his small, stained gloves that one time. You swear you can feel him watching you from behind the branches of the trees when your back is turned. Despite this, he’s the rarest squirrel you can get. 

Happy collecting!

Note: This app doesn’t exist, yet.

Contact Ariel Sauri at [email protected].