Monday, May 18, 2015
Squirrel tails and tales
Karin lived rent-free in the attic above our garage all winter. She and Karl moved in last fall and T and I, pacifists and catch-and-release enthusiasts that we are, couldn't bear the thought of making the happy couple homeless as temps dipped below zero. All of the good trees in our yard were already taken by other squirrel families, and Karin and Karl were so appreciative of our hospitality. We made plans to evict them as soon as the weather warmed.
Karin was the first to pack her things. We brought her to a beautiful lake front property about ten miles from our neighborhood and showed her around.
As T released the catch doors, Karin clung to the food dish like a baby ape clings to her mother. She wouldn't leave! We poked through the cage with sticks, we made loud noises, we jumped up and down. But nothing prodded Karin to leave the safety of her new metal condo.
Finally, she ran from the enclosure... and up underneath our car. Karin's little black claws gripped a back tire and she made a low growl. Again, we poked with sticks, made loud noises, jumped up and down. But again, nothing prodded Karin to leave the safety of our car. She ran back and forth on the underside of the vehicle, hanging from the tires and protesting with chirps.
A crowd gathered in the parking lot, watching our squirrel dance.
After fifteen minutes of ridiculousness, Karin scampered into the wilderness and we high-fived our success. It was like watching your child move into his freshman dorm. You might say you'll save his room for visits, but you're already making redecorating plans.
Back home in the garage Karl was confused. He glared at us with his beady little eyes and boldly jumped from beam to beam. 'You can't catch me!" he said. "You'll never take me alive."
"So be it," I replied to Karl as T reset the trap with cat food and stale peanuts. "So be it." Karl the bachelor will be moving out soon enough. With or without his consent.