Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Pitter-Pat of Little Feet -or- THE BATTLE OF THE SQUIRREL

My studio had a cathedral ceiling. Last year, a squirrel began keeping me company by scurrying in the eaves. It was worrisome at first, and not little scary as my BFF had recently fought her one battle with (gasp!) roof rats. Luckily, my neighbor spotted the squirrel entertaining friends (possibly a cocktail reception in celebration of his new digs?)

It didn’t happen often, and I really didn’t want to hurt the little fellow. Spring came and the squirrel left. Yea! I didn’t have to make any decisions about my former tenant.

Fall came. So did the squirrel. Okay, now I did have to take action; who knew what kind of devilment he could get into? Damage was certain to follow, if had not already occurred. I called he-who-for-a-fee-will-humanely-remove-your-furry-infestations. He came, he placed a big trap, noted that as long as “that hole is there” the squirrel would have no incentive to hop into the trap. I would insert a photo of the “hole” at this point but it is “hole” no longer.

Months pass. The pitter-patter of squirrelly toes continue over my studio. The trap remains vacant. One morning I hear the aforementioned pitter-patter above my head as I wake. In my bedroom. ARRRRGH. He’s expanding his territory. A few days later when I was watching Private Practice (don’t you just love to see Taye Diggs smile?) in the living room, you guessed it, pitter-patter.

Meanwhile, we receive a tax refund. “Wa-hoo “ says my DH, “can we get an estimate on enclosing the deck?” To maintain a peaceful life, I call a recommended contractor. He came, we shared our differing thoughts about the deck and I asked, innocently, “Do you have a minute to look at another little problem we have?” I pointed to a juncture of several rooflines in the bedroom that has been damp in the past. DH had been in the attic seeking the reason last rainy season, finding no obvious reason.

Up into the little opening in my closet (Really? My closet? He was lucky to find a place to set the ladder!)

Mr Contracter says, “Uh, there are a few problems up here…come on up an look…you can see daylight” First, I looked at DH who reckoned it was dark when he was investigating. Then I said, “that’s okay, we believe you; can you fix it?”

Well, of course he can. To his credit, he did a very thorough job of finding all the problems and offering to fix them. No, now don’t be jumping to conclusions; my furry tenant had nothing to do with the shoddy roofing job my house had. Hey, it was built long before we moved in, so I don’t even have a builder to fuss at or about. However, the gutters did have a problem that Mr Squirrel had exacerbated by leaving nesting material in them. Remember “the hole?” – part of the problem, of course.

Cut to today; I visit with “the guys” for a moment. Ronnie, who is the most chatty, proudly asks, “Did they tell you I caught that squirrel?” He demonstrated, from high atop a ladder, how he accomplished the task. His nameless helper added, “Yup! That squirrel ran down that way and jumped off the roof! Plop! Landed flat on his stomach, didn’t even use a tree! Plop! Got up, and high-tailed-it” (literally, I assumed) “up between those houses”

And so, the BATTLE OF THE SQUIRREL was waged and won.

What about the deck, you ask? Hahahahahaha. One of the joys of homeownership is putting the needs of the house before your wants.

Adieu, friend squirrel. Adieu, hole. Adieu, tax refund. Hello lovely soffit and fascia and chimney cap, and…

UPDATE!  I found a piece of "the hole" and, either the first squirrel is back or one of the party attendees just woke up.  The battle goes on.  I hope my friend, Buster, has better luck! Check out his progress:

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