Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Home Invasion

Squirrels are bigger and faster and meaner when they are in your house. Or behind your dresser, for example, where one may resemble a large cat, or small gray bear.

As I crept toward that side of the bedroom, hockey stick in hand, prepared to see a small mouse, I had no idea my initial reaction to seeing the large furry tail unfurl as I moved the picture frame he was hiding behind, would be to leap up onto the bed and scream obscenities in a voice that was not my own. Apparently I was impersonating a 12 year-old girl, who knew a lot of very bad words.

Still, it was a good plan, and I executed it flawlessly, managing to lift my entire body 6 feet off the carpet in a single bound, while somehow not hitting the ceiling. A masterful plan, until the squirrel went crazy and began running around the room, ultimately jumping up onto the bed. My hiding spot. My perch. My haven. OMG, there’s a squirrel next to me on the bed!!! RUN!!

I locked him in the bedroom and quickly ran around the house closing off doors and barricading hallways to force him out the front door. For two hours I chased him around and around, and out from under every piece of furniture he could fit under. I finally had the loveseat and matching oversized chair (Rotmann’s $895/set) tipped up on end, and a makeshift laundry basket trap right out of Bugs Bunny set and ready to capture the beast. At one point he ran by the open front door and I tried to “one-time” him out the doorway with my hockey stick. But he was in too close to my feet and I heeled it. Just spun him out as he rocketed by.

Eventually, he did go out the front door and I immediately slammed it shut behind him. And locked it. They’re very smart. I hoped he hadn’t already made a copy of my key.

Six days later, I got a call at the office. Stacey was whispering. “Come home now….he’s back.” “Who’s back?” “The squirrel. He’s here. In the basement. He’s looking right at me. Please come home. I’m afraid.” “I’m busy," I told her. "Flip over the furniture. He’ll leave.” Then she began to scream. Apparently the beast rushed her.

Twenty minutes later, there we were together…she with a bat…me with my trusty hockey stick. “That’s right…punk. Remember me?” I glared at him. He glared back. It unnerved me. He has a very intimidating air about him. A kind of rodent confidence that strikes fear in his rivals.

There comes a time in every man’s life, when he has to look at himself, and dig deep. Beyond his fears. Beyond his own limitations. Recognizing it’s either kill or be killed. For me that time was in 7th grade. Jill Levine had me pressed up against a locker. I screamed like a 12 year old girl that day too.

The squirrel had to go. His time had come. And he was overmatched. We chased him around the room for a few minutes until he finally went up into the wall through a small repair opening in the bathroom. He had nowhere to go. We set a (humane) trap for him in the doorway, and waited. Twenty four hours later, bound and gagged, we went for a little car-ride. He now lives a few towns away in a planned community for wayward mammals. He has a new identity and a restraining order against him. But I still have nightmares.

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