Monday, February 8, 2010

Squirrels are nuts

My life felt like something out of Looney Tunes this morning. For the past couple of months, a squirrel has been trying to move in with us. We hear him sometimes in the walls or the ceiling above the kitchen, but we don't think he's trapped up there. (We're not even sure if it's the same squirrel.) He got into the house itself in December, and caused an unbelievable amount of panic and mayhem among humans, cats and dog before making his getaway. You never think you'll come home from grocery shopping to see a squirrel perched on a curtain rod in your livingroom, and your cat trying to climb the curtains to get at him.

This morning, I heard the dog barking downstairs and knew that I had to go investigate. One of my cats had parked himself on the kitchen counter while the dog was standing by the sink and barking. Then I noticed that some items had gotten knocked over, which led me to suspect "squirrel." I looked into the darkest corner of the counter and behind the dish drain, but didn't see anything. That was when I heard a scrambling that made me jump and shriek. I looked again, and saw a grey, bushy tail between the dish drain and the wall. And no, it wasn't the cat!

The squirrel had chosen his hiding place wisely. I locked the cats into the bedroom, put the dog in her crate, and then made a peanut butter sandwich for the squirrel. I cut the sandwich into small, "grab-and-go" pieces and left them by the open kitchen window. But little Rocky wasn't buying it this time. He wasn't leaving his fortress while he wasn't sure about the enemy's whereabouts.

What was I going to do now? Up to now, my squirrel-wrangling technique has involved quite a bit of panic, running wildly about, and screaming. DH just laughs as he calmly but firmly directs the squirrel to an open door or window. Since DH wasn't home, it was up to me to help Rocky find his way out. So without thinking about possible consequences (like the squirrel jumping onto my head), I moved the dish drain. This startled poor Rocky enough to make him jump up onto the window sill and out onto the fence. Only thing was, in his own panic and haste, he missed the fence and fell straight down in a move worthy of Wile E. Coyote.

I did go out and check on him, but he was long gone by the time I got to the side of the house.

There are worse ways to start a week, but for me, this has been one of the most unusual. Happy Monday!

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