Friday, September 14, 2007

There's a Squirrel in the Mud Room

We were gone for a good part of the day today on a field trip that Evan skipped in order to catch up on assignments at home. As soon as we got home, Evan very calmly and casually said, "There's a squirrel and a cat that's not ours in our mud room..." He announced this in the same tone he would use to say, "I finished my math lesson," or "We're out of peanut butter."

Now, before I proceed with this story, it's probably important to relay the fact that we do not own a squirrel. PETA also requires me to say that no squirrels were harmed in the following events. At least not seriously.

Our "mud room" is our back entrance off the new kitchen, where our pantry, deep freezer and extra fridge are kept. There is an opening (which I like to affectionately refer to as the vermin portal) in the ceiling for attic access that Darrell has not yet covered. The mud room has only been finished for a couple weeks and these things take time, I'm told. You can't rush a quality construction project. A rushed job is just asking for problems. Anybody knows that.

Anyway... The first perp in question is a cat who has actually broken into our home before. Seriously. Breaking and entering. And, sadly enough, his entry was through a different vermin portal last time. Yes, I know. "How many animal-sized points of entry have these people had?" you ask. Alarmingly, more than one, I say, with my head in my hands and tears in my eyes. He obviously was never properly prosecuted after his last offense. This hardened criminal has seen it all and knows no fear. Screaming, rock-throwing... He is impervious to threats of all kinds. I do not like this animal. I believe he may be a minion of The Evil One.

Keep in mind that we do not live out in the country, where one would expect to deal with all things wild and furry entering one's private sanctuary. We live in town. We have deadbolts on all the doors, and locks on all the windows. And yet, somehow, a foreign cat and his squirrel cohort managed to breach our security.

Our feline intruder left quickly and easily enough (obviously confident I'm sure, of his future return), leaving only the squirrel to contend with. What follows is a fairly accurate transcript of the squirrel's very humane release back into the wild. No names have been changed to protect people who will not close up the vermin portal:
Darrell: Evan, are you sure there's a squirrel out there?
Evan: Yes.
Darrell: How do you know?
Evan: Because I saw him.
Darrell: But how do you know he's still there?
Evan: Because I see him.
Darrell: Where?
Evan: Right there.

Michelle: Oh, I see him, Darrell. He's sitting right there behind the freezer. What do we do now?
Darrell: I'm thinkin' this is gonna turn out a lot like Chevy Chase in "Christmas Vacation" ...Remember that?
(Evan laughs at this. Chevy Chase and that squirrel were pretty funny.)
Michelle: What are we going to do?

Darrell: We're gonna get him to go this way, out the door (Darrell starts pulling freezer away from wall).
Michelle: We are? How are we... Oh, cripes. He's looking right at me. He's looking at me, Darrell. He sees me and he knows what we're up to.
Darrell: Be ready.
Michelle: Huh? ...Ready? Ready for what?
Darrell: For him to haul butt outta there.
Michelle: What? Is he gonna run right at me? Like, do you mean running up my leg? Why is that hole still open, anyway, Darrell? How high can these things jump, Darrell?
(Michelle takes broom handle and uses it to ever-so-gently encourage the squirrel to walk the other way)
Darrell: Is he coming?
Michelle: No. He's sitting there, letting me lift his butt up and down off the floor with the broom handle. He doesn't seem to be intimidated at all, Darrell. What do we do now?
Darrell: You have to get him to come this way.
Michelle: Whaat? Why don't we just let him come out the other side and swoosh him with the broom. Cripes... He just went under the freezer.
(Under the freezer he sits for the next several minutes, while Darrell rethinks our strategy)
Michelle: OK, do you see him? Is he coming? He's gonna run right at your face!
Darrell: If he does, I'm gonna ____ (perform a bodily function that has been bleeped, out of respect for our readers. You're welcome...)!
Michelle: Oh, he's back out now.
Darrell: OK, now push him this way, towards the open door.
Michelle: Wait, don't let him go. I want to take his picture.
Darrell: You what?
Michelle: Somebody bring me the camera! ...Come on, hurry!
Some sweet, small person's voice: What are you guys doing out here?

Michelle: Shut that door, quick- you'll let him out!!
Some sweet, small person's voice: Let what ou...
Darrell: Is he still back there? I can't see where he is.
Michelle: Can't anybody bring me the camera? What is wrong with you people? This is an emergency!
Some sweet, small person's voice: Um... Where is the camera, Mommy?
Michelle: It's in the thing! Someplace over there on the thing in that thing. Maybe in my room! Someone put it somewhere, I think. I dunno. Find it!
Darrell: Are you seriously taking a picture of this?

Michelle: Yeah! I'm gonna put it on my blog.
Some sweet, small person hands Michelle the camera.
Darrell: Do you have your picture yet?
Michelle: Oh, yeah. Sorry, I've taken plenty. I forgot to tell you I was done.
Michelle gets her shot, and Darrell manages to gently encourage squirrel to walk towards the door, and run frantically back out into the wild. Michelle walks away, to document this monumental event on the blog, quite confident that the whole incident will cause Darrell to get right on the job of closing up the vermin portal without further delay.

"Mom," says small person... "Dad just fell asleep on the couch."

Cripes... Cripes, I say. And the portal remains.

Here are a few pictures of my sweeties having fun this afternoon, unaware of the invasion going on at home.

And my precious friend, Lanie (on the left)...

And finally...

The Squirrel Hunters


Rebecca said...

I LOVED the story! I have not laughed that much in a while ; )

dimeadozen said...

It's so nice when you don't have to go out for dinner, it comes to you, lol.

sassy chic said...

Made me laugh out loud! Loved the pics!!! Your children are precious,your friend Lanie is gorgeous, and your husband looks like he is crazy about you!!!