Thursday, May 17, 2012
If you were on Twitter yesterday afternoon then you already know most
of this story. If not, buckle up. It's gonna be a SQUEAKY ride.
So...remember those scratching noises I mentioned way back during my Supernatural post? The ones that would always start up around 2AM and freak us right the heck out? Well, they kind of went away, and then came back, and then John put this strong spruce-smelling stuff up there that's supposed to ward off varmints, and then it went away again.
When the scritching came back again John got a humane metal trap and put *that* up there. Since it was in our back room, which was an addition to the house, there's no crawl space up there - just a tiny space you can stick your arm (or a boxy metal trap) inside. And since that room is directly under the branches of our massive backyard tree, we kept telling ourselves it was probably a squirrel.
Then we waited.
And nothing happened.
The past few nights the noises have gotten a bit louder, like the squirrel was either moving its little squirrely furniture around or leading a rodent jazzercise class, so John and I finally agreed it was time to call in the professionals. We hated to do it, since we didn't want to actually *kill* anything, but it seemed we no longer had any choice.
The very next afternoon - yesterday - I was sitting on the couch working on my laptop when I heard a ceiling-shaking metallic *CLANK!!* I felt like hitting the fire alarm and yelling a triumphant, "WE GOT ONE!!!" but since we don't have a fire alarm I just yelled for John instead.
Cut to: John standing on a ladder outside in the rain (the ceiling access is under the roof line) with me standing inside at the window beside him, calling helpful things like, "Don't fall!" and "Can you see it yet?"
There was a bit of scraping and huffing from John, and then:
"I think it might be hurt."
"OH NO! Really? I thought the trap wouldn't hurt it!!" Desperately I tried to think of a vet that would treat injured squirrels. (Hey, I bet the smelly vet would do it!)
"No, wait. Never mind. He's not hurt. He's just being an [censored]."
I took a moment to process this. "Um. How does that work, exactly?"
At this point John heaved the cage into view, revealing a small-ish sized squirrel with a rat tail. Well, ok, maybe it was a rat. But I prefer to think of it as a squirrel who just Nair'ed his tail, ok?
Naturally, I did what any woman would do when faced with a caged rat pulled from her attic:
I ran to get my camera.
I told John to strike a triumphant pose with his bounty. I got this:
Because of the rain I instructed John to take it into the garage so I could get a cute close-up.
So it turns out, rats aren't terribly cute. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like rodents as much as the next girl - growing up my friend even had a lovely white rat with a spots like spilled chocolate milk - but let's face it, they're no Fennec foxes.
Still, I did the best I could:
It helps to imagine him in a little cloak and guest-starring on the Secret of Nimh. And also that I cropped out his tail. Those things are mega squicky. [shudder]
Oh, and when I asked John what he meant about the rat being an [censored,] he told me the little bugger had stuck his head through the bars and was trying to bite him. Once the rat got his head back inside the cage, though, it was obvious he was fine.
After this we got down to business: John driving our catch many miles away to a patch of woods far from houses and stores, and me tweeting about it.
About fifteen minutes after John left, he called me.
"Why are you torturing everyone on Twitter?"
"Aw, c'mon, it's hilarious making them guess what we caught."
"Just tell them what it is!"
"Ok, ok, fine.
"How's the rat release going?"
"It's surprisingly hard to find an isolated patch of woods in Orlando."
"Oh, I thought you'd let him out by now. I wanted to make sure he didn't leap for your face when you opened the door."
"THEY DO THAT?!"
"Um... No? Probably not. Just, you know, stand back."
"Gee, I am SO glad I called."
Fortunately the release went fine, and now we wait to see if there are any *more* scritching noises in our LR ceiling. We'll just have to watch something super scary tonight - that's the only way to be sure.
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