Mar 19 2006
No bats in the belfry — I have squirrels in the attic. Thought it was trolls for a while there, but it’s the bushy-tailed, nut-eating rodents who have invaded my rafters.
At least one that I know of, and boy can he make a racket. Apparently he has a crash derby set or a jackhammer.
I know it’s a squirrel because I climbed up there the other day and spotted him. There he was, not at all frightened to see me. In fact, he looked more offended by my presence.
“Who the heck are you?” he seemed to be saying. “What are you doing in my house with shoes on?”
Your house? Your house! This is my house! This is my attic! You are a vermin! A rat with a bushy tail. You’ve gotta’ leave!
But he was unimpressed and went back to reading his Cosmo.
I stomped out.
A couple days later I went back up to chase him out and seal the hole he was sneaking in.
“Hole” is actually misleading. Holes are what mice scurry through. This opening was obviously designed so he could move furniture in. Maybe drive a full-size moving truck through. It was in the corner where two roof lines met, and it looked like he had taken a chain saw to the trim and used a can opener to peel back some of the tin.
At least, I thought as I climbed up into the scorching attic, a big opening will make it easier to chase him through. But foolish men have foolish ideas. This squirrel wasn’t going to just be shoo-ed out of any attic. It was good and comfy up there, and he had probably stocked it with a year’s supply of pecans. This was a squatter’s rights squirrel.
Still, with broom and a flashlight, I was determined. When a stern talk got a laugh out of him, I poked the broom at him, trying to steer him toward the hole. But he went the opposite direction, deep into the attic behind ductwork and rafters. I chased him behind the chimney stack and into the insulation above the kitchen where I cornered him. He looked agitated, and it occurred to me I was only wearing flip-flops and really didn’t have much of a plan to deal with an angry squirrel.
As that thought crossed my mind, out of the insulation the squirrel jumped, running right for me. What the heck kind of idiot squirrel makes a frontal assault on a guy with a broom is beyond me, but I had him.
I began swinging the broom like a hockey goalie warding off a wild boar, and this caused him to go airborn.
“Holy crap!” I screamed, and he bounced off my thigh. “He’s trying to kill me!”
Suddenly, all around me, whether real or imaginary, I could hear the pitter-patter of feet, and I hunkered down to catch my breath and see if I could figure out where the ambush was coming from.
I panned the flashlight about the attic, and everywhere the beam fell there seemed to be a bushy tail or bright red eyes.
But no ambush came. As quickly as it began, the siege was over. On the roof I could hear feet scratching along the tiles and the annoyed barking of a homeless squirrel.
Still, he had won.
His stalling meant it was now dark out, and my wife wouldn’t let me climb on the roof while wearing flip-flops to seal the hole.
“You don’t want to see your daughter’s wedding?” she asked me, ending the game.
The squirrel had won round two. The next day my wife said it sounded like he was back up there with power tools building things. I think he was barricading the attic door.
But next weekend I’ll get right back up there and this time I won’t be wearing flip-flops.