Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Critter Wars

I've had lots of time recently to watch the wildlife running through my yard, which brought to mind my adventures with squirrels (and other critters). Aren't they cute? I used to think so...

When the Big Guy first moved into the house, he had a chipmunk for a roommate. He figured it must have darted inside while the doors were open, while he was moving in. We escorted it outside inside a large carpet tube. Later, mice found their way in. At the time, we lived near an open field and mice? Well, they get cold in the winter. After we all moved in with the two cats, we woke up one morning to find a poor, unfortunate chipmunk dead on the basement floor. I'm attributing his demise to one of the cats playing with him. Small animals who could squeeze into small spaces.

I was still kinda thinking that the wildlife was cute until an event with a squirrel in my attic. We'd chase it out and it would stand on the roof and stare at us. The Big Guy threw a tennis ball at it to chase it off the roof and it did the equivalent of sticking out its tongue with a "nah-nah." It didn't like that we were always sticking our heads into its space, so it moved out of its own accord. And we fixed the spot where it was getting in (An eroded grate on the attic fan). We were incredibly lucky that no damage was done.

Then there was the day I was sitting at my computer contemplating the next chapter in the current book and I heard a noise. My son is in the house "somewhere" so I didn't think too much of it. Then I hear the noise again. The cat that guards me when I'm writing stood up and stared at the wall behind me. So I got up to ask my son what he was doing and found I didn't have to. He was sitting quietly in the next room, checking his email on his laptop. So I asked if he heard the noise. No one ever hears the noises but me. While I was asking him, there was a crash in the basement. He heard that! We stared at each other trying to decide who the brave one was. Well, I'm the parent, so I ventured down, but my son followed behind (so he could get killed second, I guess). And then another crash! From the Big Guy's workshop. Now I knew it likely wasn't a person since it was stumbling across the stacked wood (which is mounted on the wall). I peeked in and saw a tail, which made me run right back out. I didn't want to come face to face with a raccoon, but then I mustered up another ounce of courage. I needed to know what I was up against. I stuck my head back into the shop and there it was. Another squirrel, staring me in the face before it ran for cover.

The first thing I tried was to open the door to the outside world. Just maybe it would want to scuttle out, but not squirrels. They run for higher ground when they're scared, so off he went into the ceiling. {sigh} I called the Big Guy and asked what he recommended, but this is the same man who wouldn't believe me when I heard the squirrel in the attic. He was annoyed that we had yet another critter in the house. My next call was to wildlife control. Again. Last time we came up empty because the squirrel moved out when it saw the trap. Maybe we'll get lucky again, but I'm good and tired of the darn things! And, of course, my cats are dying to get into the basement now to see what's down there. Long story short, wildlife control captured him and transported him somewhere he might be happier.

A week or so later, same scenario with me and my son. Ever feel like someone is watching you? I turned from my computer to find a possum watching me. What the heck! As I let out a shriek, my son says, "Mom, stop doing that!" Welp, in the time it took him to scold me, the possum disappeared. Somewhere in the house. The old cat was sitting on the loveseat a couple of feet from the sighting, so I asked the cat (as one does) where the possum went. Wouldn't you know, the old guy jumped off the loveseat, walked to the door of the utility room, looked at me over his shoulder and returned to his spot on the loveseat. I flipped on the light. Nothing. "Thanks, a lot, cat." Cat gives me a look (as cats do), jumped off the loveseat and once again walked to the utility room. He stopped, sat, made sure I was paying attention. Okay. I'll try again. I looked behind the washing machine and what do you know? There was the possum. I thanked the cat. My son, the hero, grabbed a broom and swept the possum out the back door - THANK HEAVEN. But how are these guys getting into my house???

The Big Guy returned home from his business trip (funny how these things happened when he was out of town) and looked for points of entry. We had holes beside our front porch, which logic dictated gave the animals a place to hide, and following said logic, he discovered a small hole into the house under the cement porch. Needless to say, he patched the hole, and we have been without wildlife critter roommates since.


  1. Where we live now, wildlife is a given. We still haven't figured out where the mouse point of entry is. We trap them. If they die in the walls, Hubster's in charge. When a chipmunk wandered in, Feebie caught it, but let it go.
    Back in Orlando, Hubster had a cold and went to the family room couch to sleep so his coughing wouldn't keep me awake. He heard scrabbling in the ceiling above the kitchen table.
    Long story short, a critter removal company had to cut a hole in the ceiling, extract a mamma raccoon and her kits, then we had to hire someone to patch the hole so it wouldn't look like Hubster did it.

    1. I don’t mind watching them, as long as they stay in their own habitat and not mine. We had a neighbor who posted something on social media about how to get critters to move out of the neighborhood. As long as they’re outside, I’m happy to coexist .