More Behind the Scenes of Podcasting – The Week of the Squirrel

You’re not going to believe this. There’s a squirrel in my house. Crazy, but do you know what’s even crazier? He has been inside for nearly a full week. What kind of idiot lets a wild animal in their house, and then lets them stay?

At first, it was a matter of hearing a few stray sounds in an old house that is already noisy enough then there was the mess that couldn’t be explained. Boxes knocked off shelves, Knick knacks on the floor and broken. Then came the undeniable sound of scurrying feet, and something in the furnace room being knocked to the floor.

There’s definitely something in here, but fortunately we have it locked in the furnace room. Now we can sleep at night without worrying. Maybe it’ll just leave. Go out the way it came in.

Yeah, right, it was weird enough to hear a yet unidentified critter running laps at 6AM around the furnace, then I got up to take my morning pills in the kitchen. I didn’t see it, but something was on the table, and jumped off as I came in. From the sound of it, I’d guess it to be roughly the size of a small cat… or a squirrel… or a rat. I hope it’s not a rat.

There was a bag of white chocolate chips on the table, in the vicinity of where I heard it jump. It was already opened, and a few chips now graced the table. My detective instincts kicked in. I’ve been listening to a lot of Philip Marlowe radio episodes lately, so I let that hardboiled voice narrate in my head. It probably wasn’t a rat, and maybe not a cat. The wrapper would have been ripped to shreds by their claws or fangs as they dug into the bag. What animals around here are dexterous enough to reach in without tearing the opening any bigger? Raccoons are bigger, and would have made more of a racket than I heard when the critter jumped from the table. Not to mention the prowling around we’ve heard. It has to be a squirrel. Do opossums use their paws like that? No, I’m sure they don’t.

That was on the second day of the critter adventure. The next day while I was in the office upstairs, my wife spotted it. She came face to face with the squirrel. He dove for cover behind the washing machine, and has managed to stay mostly out of sight. The rest of the story has just been a matter of waiting. Nobody has any live animal traps, and our critter is good at being stealthy, although he got brave one day and my wife woke from napping over her laptop keyboard to see the thing a few feet from her, staring her down.

It’s just a matter of time now. We have traps on the way. They ought to be hear in an hour or so, and we’ll see how long you last now.

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