I’m Going Squirrelly

Squirrel-on-roofVirginia Woolf said, ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.’

No argument there. But with all due respect, Virginia, you missed something. Along with money and space, a squirrel-free zone helps too.

We have squirrels in our attic. Or at least we did. It’s been quiet the last few days, though that’s no guarantee. They’ve tricked us out before. We noticed them first this summer. They’d run through the yard taunting Team Sheltie. One took to sleeping on our fence where the sun hit in the middle of the day. I thought it was sweet. We had a house squirrel, I told myself. A totem protector.   How cute is that?

I am so naïve.  So. Naïve.

We no longer have a house squirrel. We have an army of squirrels. They’ve captured the attic and are defending their territory with a vicious determination that makes ISIS look like a group of kindergarteners. Given that Mr. Petrol Head is protective of his family, not to mention the fact that he’d like to keep our roof, our insulation and our wiring intact, he declared war.  He would eradicate the mighty army himself. Just call him the original squirrel slayer.

Just to clarify – our attic isn’t a traditional space where you store clothes and steamer trunks and kids go to play on a snow day. Our attic isn’t accessible, at least not by anybody taller than eight inches.  It’s a narrow space just below the roof where the insulation lives. It is accessed by vents. Vents in squirreldom are known as front doors. And ours apparently have a great big flashing WELCOME sign visible only to squirrels.

After some on line research, the Original Squirrel Slayer got to work. He tried moth balls which squirrels apparently hate. Maybe they do somewhere. Not where we live.  He screened off the vent. The squirrels laughed and chewed through it. He made a ‘foolproof’ one way door out of all sorts of heavy, squirrel proof material and snapped it over the vent.  Squirrelgate he called it. The squirrels thumbed their noses. They pulled a break, enter and repeat. Squirrelgate was breached.

I’d had enough. Call in the experts, I said. Let me try something else said the Original Squirrel Slayer, who was spending more and more time on our roof determined that the rats-with-tails wouldn’t get the best of him.

A new and improved Squirrelgate was created and installed. Things got quiet. We were hopeful. We were sure the army had been conquered.  We were sure we’d won the war.

Then came Saturday.  I woke up to find the Squirrel Commander-in-Chief chewing his way through the screen on our open skylight.  The army was on the move. The attic was no longer enough. The capture of new territory – in the form of our TV room – was the goal.

The Original Squirrel Slayer conceded defeat.  Refusing to accept his new moniker, he picked up the phone, dialed the Squirrel Whisperer and went back to being Mr. Petrol Head.  Some things, like marauding squirrels, are better left to the experts. squirrelgate

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