Saturday, February 14, 2009

Super Squirrel Wars on Agate Court

I have come full circle on squirrels. At one point, I installed a squirrel feeder outside a window so I could watch the cute critters. I was somewhat reluctant to install a new fence because the squirrels loved to run along the top of our old wooden fence. I come by this affinity toward squirrels honestly: my parents actually tame squirrels in their backyard and have found they enjoy peanuts and Pepsi. Seriously. Through the years, however, I've become less enamored of these "tree rats," took down the feeder, and have almost declared war of them. My version of war is nothing compared to Heather "Patton" Dunham's quest to rid our attic of the squirrels who invaded the addition to our home. A few months ago, we heard noises in the attic and determined squirrels were somehow getting inside. Heather found a squirrel dude in the phone book (who knew?) who promptly came out and found a spot where the siding on the new addition wasn't sealed properly. He sealed it shut and assured Heather the offending rodents were outside.

"How do you know they are outside?" she asked.

He replied, "Well, I saw two of them in the tree near the house so I knew they were out."

Heather said something to the effect of "Dude! We have hundreds of squirrels everywhere!"

For quite some time, it seemed as if the squirrel war was over, but the battle had just begun. Recently, we heard the noises again, and out came the squirrel man again. He found yet another hole only this time in the new attic fan. He sealed that one and hoped the critters were outside. His reassurance was that it is winter so if they were inside, they wouldn't smell....

The sound started again, and he came back out to meet Heather again. Turns out, a mother squirrel had literally chewed through the metal trying to get to her babies. Heather being a loving mother completely understood this maternal instinct. She told the guy to "kill it."

He seemed startled and said he could trap her and drop her across the river. Heather said, "No. With our luck, she's one of those homing squirrels who will figure out how to get back home. Kill it. I used to kill gophers. Just kill it."

The guy asked if we realized the babies were likely in our attic, and Heather said "Kill it." He set a trap and asked if she minded if he took the rodent home to eat because, being from Tennessee, he likes to eat squirrel. "Just kill it."

The past two days, we have diligently checked the trap on the roof to no avail. However, this morning, in another part of the house, we heard a scratching in a closed fireplace flue. The squirrel, evidently intimidated by the imposing trap (hey, even a tree rat with a brain the size of an acorn would be wary of the concoction on our roof by this point), so she chewed through the fireplace cap evidently seeking an alternate route into her home. Like an unfortunate Santa Clause, she got trapped. Out came the squirrel guy again, and he took out a gun -- in our living room -- and "killed it."

I wonder how roast squirrel tasted for a Valentine's Day dinner?

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