Comments Off on Squirrels


In my defense, I’ve had a squirrel get into my house before (not this house), and it’s pretty exciting and somewhat traumatic for everyone involved. So I might have been predisposed to mishear my housemate saying ‘squirtle’.

I misheard the first time, too. I think I was in highschool. Dad was away on a work trip. I got up earlyish but then crawled into bed with mom to chit chat. Half hour later my little brother comes in and says “There’s a squirrel in my room.”

Now, we’d just done the major work on a huge remodeling project, and had neglected to put in grating/mesh behind the roof vents, so we had this little problem with squirrels getting into the ceiling. Since my dad (my whole family, but mostly my dad), had just poured blood, sweat, and tears into this house, the idea that a squirrel was eating it was really galling.

Really galling.

To give you some idea, over the prior three months I had once woken up to my dad standing in the street at 6 a.m. screaming “Damn it, STOP EATING MY HOUSE!” at our home; once come home (with @pyoorkate‘s future wife, actually! Ask her about it!) to find my dad up a ladder with an unbent coat-hanger, jabbing the wire into one vent hole and then attempting to catch a squirrel’s head in BBQ tongs when it poked it’s head out the other; and once witnessed him chase a squirrel across the front yard and tree it while wielding my brother’s wooden broadsword.

Squirrels were an issue, I’m saying.

My brother and I, living upstairs, were both fairly accustomed to
gnawing and chittering noises in the floor below us. I dealt with it by
picking up gallon paint cans, walking very quietly over to where the
noise seemed to be coming from, and then dropping them. (I’ve never been
entirely sure whether I frightened the squirrels or concussed them).

So when my brother came downstairs and told mom and I there was a squirrel in his room, mom groaned and said “Drop something heavy on it.”

My brother said, “No. It’s on my bed.”


“It was on the foot of my bed! It woke me up! It was mad at me.”

There followed a rather exciting hour in which we first tried to photograph the squirrel (the plan was that I’d be ready with the camera and my brother would take a flying leap onto the bed, thus scaring the squirrel out from under the bed and into my view. Sadly, I wasn’t quick enough), then tried to chase it, and finally left peanut butter bread outside on the roof wit the windows open, shut the door, and waited (with judicious checking, at intervals).

By the by, it’s really kind of cool looking at the shadow of a squirrel when it’s climbing up the window side of muslin curtains.

Eventually the squirrel left, and not much later we finally had a time we were sure the squirrels were out and got all the wire mesh up, and I spent one miserable December day helping dad put tongue-and-groove cedar up in the porch sofit, and squirrels didn’t get into our house anymore.

But it was exciting.