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LexieCat 12-09-2016 04:09 PM

OT--On a lighter note
As most of you know, I have a seemingly never-ending series of homeowner disasters besetting my modest townhouse. The latest: squirrels in the attic. This started about three weeks ago. I sighed, wondering how much THIS was gonna cost me, and pulled up Angie's List. I found a company that sounded pretty good and called them.

The guy came out the next day and went up in my attic. He came down with a photo of a football-sized hole the critters had chewed to get into the attic. He told me I was fortunate to have noticed before they did too much damage--eventually the bill could have run up to $15k to repair the damage. As it is, they could take care of the whole problem for $1500, which included installing a one-way door so the squirrels could get out but not come back in, repairing the hole, and installing gutter guards all around the house. Included a lifetime warranty. Plus the guy who came out for the estimate was very nice and fascinating--he's an environmental biologist who specializes in bats and he told me all kinds of interesting stuff.

Now, I've had SO many disasters that $1500 for a guaranteed fix sounded like an actual BARGAIN (oh, and Angie's List customers get a five percent coupon). So I sign the contract and pay my deposit. The guys came out and installed the one-way door and the gutter guards, and they will be back in a few days to seal up the hole and take the door (once they verify the critters are completely gone).

And it's been blessedly silent, until today (they get active when it is cold outside). I didn't hear them in the attic, but could hear them running across the roof. (My neighbors said the day the guys were out to install the one-way door they saw 4-5 squirrels scurrying around the roof in apparent dismay as they tried to figure out who locked the damn DOOR.) Suddenly I hear this loud THUD right outside the window of my office, where I was working. I opened the blinds and there were two squirrels trapped on the iron grate outside the window. By the time I went and got my camera, one of them had figured out a way up or down, but one was getting increasingly stressed out about how to deal with this situation.

Here's what happened:

As you can see, the critter had a bit of a problem with ACCEPTANCE of his situation, but he eventually did what we all have to do. Have faith, take a deep breath, and JUMP. :)

PhoenixJ 12-09-2016 04:13 PM

LC - that tail tells the whole story.

Ariesagain 12-09-2016 04:16 PM

Awesome...thanks for the wildlife tour!

(We had the squirrel problem in a fixer upper we bought once...fortunately we also had a large cat who was, well, dumb as a rock (he was once lost for five days and I finally found him less than half a mile from home, which is how he became an indoor only kitty) but he had some impressive exterminator skills. I let him in the attic and he terrorized them all into moving out in two days. Good may have been the only time in 25 years of pet ownership that one of them actually saved us money!)

Bekindalways 12-09-2016 05:10 PM

Lovely dramatization of someone with a solution they don't like.

Yep, squirrel, I get it.

53500 12-09-2016 05:11 PM

Haha that is an awesome video! I have no affection for squirrels but felt bad for the little guy. And in the end he did what needed doing and life got better. :)

honeypig 12-10-2016 09:16 AM

Lexie, I laughed and laughed! I've seen that tail-shaking thing so many times from the horde of squirrels here, very familiar w/that sign of stress.

But what I really want to know is how did he cling to the glass of the window? I mean, at some points he clearly seems to be just walking right up the glass a la Batman, not hanging onto the frame or any other protrusion!! If my squirrels ever develop that ability, I am throwing in the towel and moving someplace that has no rodents, indigenous OR imported (is there such a place?).

Just this AM I watched a squirrel creep out the horizontal pole holding my suet feeder and hang down off the pole. He found himself unable to crawl down the too-thin-to-climb-but-too-thick-to-flex wire to reach the feeder but saw that he WAS able to hang by his back feet and reach the chain attaching the feeder to the wire hanger. He then hauled the suet up, hand over hand, using the chain.

About the time he got it to his face, I screamed at him "put it back, you little $#%@^!!" and he dropped the chain and launched off the pole w/a leap much like the one in your video. I just went out and removed the chain and lengthened the wire--the battle continues.

Seren 12-10-2016 09:22 AM

Hahahaha....! That was epic, Lex, thank you for sharing!!

LexieCat 12-10-2016 09:24 AM

Nah, he's not Spider-Squirrel--there is actually a screen out there that he's climbing up--it just doesn't really show up in the video.

I sent a link to the video to the Critter Control company I hired--thought they would get a kick out of it. I got a reply this morning from one of their schedulers, who loved it--she said the most gratifying moment was when he threw in the towel and gave up.

Oh, and the part that cracked me up the most, personally, was the head whipping back and forth right before he takes the plunge. Just checking, I guess, to make sure he wasn't missing some other way out of it, or maybe a check for lurking predators before taking the Leap of Faith.

honeypig 12-10-2016 09:25 AM

Originally Posted by LexieCat (Post 6239327)
Nah, he's not Spider-Squirrel--there is actually a screen out there that he's climbing up--it just doesn't really show up in the video.

Well thank the good lord for THIS! Whew, squirrels are NOT developing super powers...

Maudcat 12-10-2016 09:29 AM

That is great!

RollTide 12-10-2016 10:22 AM

As long as they didn't install the one way door backwards you should be in good shape. : )

sauerkraut 12-10-2016 01:50 PM

I squealed!

So funny, and, as you say, an apt metaphor.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I make some of those tail movements myself, for example when I'm on a higher diving board than I'd intended. :) Thanks for sharing.

PhoenixJ 12-10-2016 02:08 PM

Spider squirrel
Spider Squirrel
He'll get inside- so keep it real

Through the roof
Through the door
It really doesn't matter..

To him,
he'll hide up inside your roof space
Being posted is no big disgrace
Look out for spider squirrel.

honeypig 12-10-2016 02:14 PM

Phoenix, that is a SCREAM! OMG, way too funny...

PhoenixJ 12-10-2016 02:41 PM

HP and all of you, this is deadly serious- S/S has a secret identity. During the day, he goes about his normal life- disguised as Tupperware consultant..shhhh.

dandylion 12-10-2016 03:06 PM

Phoenix......OMG! I WONDERED where that Tupperware, in the attic, came from!!!!!

honeypig 12-11-2016 01:12 AM

Originally Posted by dandylion (Post 6239709)
Phoenix......OMG! I WONDERED where that Tupperware, in the attic, came from!!!!!

I wondered where Tupperware salespeople came from!!

PhoenixJ 12-11-2016 01:34 AM

Be careful, dear squirrelites- your phone may ring. A high pitched, helium gas sounding voice will ask you...'have you checked the Tupperware?'

FeelingGreat 12-11-2016 02:11 AM

The animal that fills that ecological niche in Australia is the possum. I was amazed at the similarity in behaviour and nuisance factor. Nature abhors a vacuum and there was obviously a vacuum in your attic Lexie.

Seren 12-11-2016 05:04 AM

Stop!!! I have guests in my house who are still asleep and I'm going to start laughing out loud and wake them all up! :lmao

PhoenixJ 12-11-2016 05:33 AM

Seren- have you checked the guests?

Seren 12-11-2016 05:36 AM

Hi PJ, it is 8:30 am here, and they are all still asleep. But that's business as usual for this crowd - family from out of town :)

dandylion 12-11-2016 05:40 AM

FeelingGreat....a few weeks ago, I heard an odd noise during the night....and went to investigate. I discovered a possum on a table in the dining room enjoying a meal of the cat's food. I have reason to believe that he/she had been coming every night (3am) for a feeding....
The American cousin of your Australian

***The dog was sleeping, soundly, on a couch. just a few feet away.....

PhoenixJ 12-11-2016 10:57 PM

The difference between our convict possums and your colonist squirrels is possums usually do Amway. I think it is because squirrels are always looking for a more efficient way to store things. Possums have a bit of an inferiority complex- so they want to cleanse.

redatlanta 12-12-2016 03:35 AM


Proof that the fear of something is always worse than the reality.

FeelingGreat 12-12-2016 04:33 AM

Originally Posted by dandylion (Post 6240295)
***The dog was sleeping, soundly, on a couch. just a few feet away.....

They're probably old mates......

honeypig 12-12-2016 05:24 AM

Originally Posted by dandylion (Post 6240295)
I discovered a possum on a table in the dining room enjoying a meal of the cat's food.

***The dog was sleeping, soundly, on a couch. just a few feet away.....

Both of these things are hilarious! How was the possum getting in the house? And how was he climbing onto the dining table--via a handy chair? I know they can go in trees, but they are somewhat ungraceful...

dandylion 12-12-2016 06:03 AM was very hot and humid, at that I left the back door cracked open....(it leads to a fenced in and obscure back yard)....
He had some easy access!.....
Yes, he climbed on the chair..then onto the table....(he also had been checking the dog dish for any excess dry food, there...I thought the dog was just eating more!)....
honeypig....they may look ungraceful...but, I can assure you that they are quite speed and agility with which he moved, once he saw me, was astounding. And, he was big as a raccoon......

I simply told him...."GoodNight, my friend...the party's over"

DesertEyes 12-12-2016 07:30 AM

Oh dear, you all are bringing memories.

A long time ago, in a land far away, I married this lovely woman who came with a 16yr old daughter as part of the package. Two of her high school besties were living in an abusivie situation so we took them in. Per Social Services it was only a temporary situation while they found apropriate housing. Three weeks they said, which turned into 3 years.

Soon after came the younger siblings of the two besties, a total of 5 little ones under the age of 10. And with them came a whole parade of hamsters, gerbils, turtles, one garden snake, three rabbits, fish, ant farms, dogs and cats.

We had indoor cats, and heaven help the poor soul who let an indoor cat get out because all the little humans would go tumbling after it to try and get it back inside. We had outdoor cats, and it was worse to accidentaly let one get inside because the cat-catching-chaos would then ocurr inside the house instead of in the back yard. Cats can climb up curtains, but children can not. They bring the curtains down.

And we had cats that were allowed in or out as they pleased, and you were accused of being mean if you did not open doors as the cats requested.

I could never remember which cats belonged in which category, so I was always in trouble. I still think they switched them on me every so often just to mess with me ;)

No, we had no doggie-doors. That proved to be a worthless experiment because only the children used them.

All this activity, and animal food, atracted a lot of possums to the garbage bins. But they were declared "cute", and I was tasked with building little possum-houses for them out in the side yard. Where they would get in fights with the outdoor cats. Some coons took residence up the orange tree, and would sneak into the attic, and get into fights with the bats that had decided to sneak in thru the same hole the coons had found.

Then we had a family of skunks move in under the wood pile. And one of the dogs got stuck in there trying to get at them, and 2 of the little ones went in to save the dog. Tomato juice does ok on human skin, but it does nothing to remove the smell from clothes. Or dogs. Or wood piles.

Social Services was ok with all the children, but Animal Control was not so understanding about the critters. So we had to get a license, which somehow got us listed with the local veterinarians, who then started sending us dogs and cats that people had found lost on the street but nobody had claimed. I was spending every weekend buying used plywood and building more and more critter-houses.

Oh yes, every critter had a name, and the relevant name had to be stenciled on each plywood box. Dogs would get old blankets to have in their boxes, cats got old towels, possums had bedsheets, and by morning all that linen would be all over the property, and every critter had switched boxes and nobody was sleeping where they were supposed to.

Except for the indoor cats, which slept at the foot of the bed under the covers and were far more efficient at waking you up in the morning than the alarm clock. Don't get me started on the 100-lb boxers that darling step daughter decided to raise because whe was going to be a veterinarian when she grew up.

I was saved when the two older girls went off to college, daughter got married, social services found placement for the little ones and a porcupine dropped in to see what all the fuss was about. He cleared out the wood pile family as well as the possums. The kids took all of the cats and dogs and miscelaneous fauna with them. We saved enough money on animal food to have the house fumigated.

Then some pigeons started nesting under the eaves.

We sold the place and moved to the suburbs.

Mike :)

dandylion 12-12-2016 07:43 AM

DesertEyes....I love these memories.....You remind me of Noah......(you know---the one with the arc).......

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