Squirrels are Rodents!

November 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm Leave a comment

My job includes a lot of travel but it’s long term travel (months at a time) and I’m within driving distance to go home on weekends, so my company finds me places to stay while I’m away.  Generally they are great and I’m usually spending my summers living in a cottage in a remote area with nothing but nature around me.  Generally I’ve got nature’s back, but this time not so much.

I happened to be in an area where a friend from university was now living, so I was able to hook up with her and have dinner.  After downing one jillion glasses of water with our spicy food I was in dire straits and was sprinting through the house to the bathroom.  As I ran down the hall I flipped on the bathroom light and as I rounded the corner into the john I let out what can only be described as an “OMG I’m 13 and I just saw the Jonas Brothers” shriek.  Shrill to the max my friends.  The reason for the shrieking was that something had leapt from the vanity towards the shower and had not quite made it and landed in the toilet.  As I went to lean over the toilet to see what it was it JUMPED RIGHT AT ME and landed in the bath tub.  This is when I spent a few moments saying “HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT” and then trying to reassure myself “It’s way smaller than you, it’s probably more afraid of you than you are of it” and all of that other BS that people tell you about wild animals. 

I eventually worked up enough courage, and with my foot (after I put shoes on I might add) I slowly pulled back the shower curtain and THERE WAS NOTHING THERE.  NOTHING – whatever it was it was gone.  Since I am brilliant and blonde I figured that maybe it went down the drain or something and it was then that I heard the scratching on the shower curtain.  As I went to peek in the tub the thing jumped out again RIGHT AT ME I SWEAR and landed over my head on the screen for the window.  At this point I was most definitely screaming and scared the thing so badly it ran out of the bathroom.  Please note that I still haven’t peed after my bajillion gallons of water.  So, I do my business and come out of the bathroom and the thing is gone.  I looked everywhere and it was nowhere to be found.  I looked upstairs, downstairs, under the bed, under the sofa and NOTHING.  So, I figure it must have gotten out however it had gotten in and I went to bed. 

A few hours of peaceful sleeping and all hell breaks loose.  I am jarred awake by the sound of all of my shampoo etc. being hurled into the bathtub in the bathroom upstairs.  I sprint upstairs and into the bathroom and it is on the window screen again.  At this point I’ve figured out that it’s some sort of small mammal, but still don’t know for sure what it is.  Then, once I grab a pot (like Rachel on Friends with the pigeon) and try to catch it and it leaps and sails over my head I realize what it is.  It is a flying squirrel. 

Photo courtesy of www.uwsp.edu
Photo courtesy of www.uwsp.edu

Doesn’t exactly look cute and cuddly huh?

I chased this thing around my house from 1:00 – 3:00 a.m. with no success.  I resigned myself to bed, but I didn’t get any sleep because I could hear it running around upstairs.  I got up in the morning and it looked like the house had been ransacked.  Pictures were off the walls, curtains had been torn off the curtain rods and there was squirrel “droppings” EVERYWHERE.  I spent some time searching for it and found nothing.  I tidied up and went to work, came home for lunch and still did not find it anywhere.  I mentioned it to a large, burly co-worker who said he would come over after work and try to help me. 

He and I searched for 20 minutes after work and couldn’t find anything.  I thanked him for his help and sent him on his way.  He had just walked out the door and gotten into his car and I called him, “Haha, you’re funny.  Scratching on the door trying to scare me”.  He replied that he hadn’t scratched on the door, pinky swore he hadn’t scratched on the door and said he would be right back.  He came in, looked again and NOTHING.  He left and I figured I’d just been hearing things and started making dinner. 

I was about 15 minutes into my quesadillas when this thing came ripping out of the bedroom and the screaming began.  I was able to shut the bedroom door so it was now confined to the kitchen / living room.  I called back my co-worker and he said he would be right there.  Ten minutes later he showed up with a fishing net to try to catch it.  Let me tell you, flying squirrels are FAST and they really can fly.  We chased that thing around a 15 x 20 room for 40 minutes.  It kept trying to go back into the bedroom, so I was standing on guard (with oven mitts on – a girl can never be too careful).  He was trying to chase it out the open front door and it veered towards the bedroom and got in between my feet.  I was reaching down trying to push it towards the door when my coworker also tried to get the net over top of it.  Instead of getting the squirrel though, he hit me in the back of the leg with the net.  Let me point out that I was wearing very large cargo pants.  So large that when I felt something behind my knee my first thought was “THE SQUIRREL IS UP MY FUCKING PANTS!!”  I started screaming, oven mitts were flying and I was jumping all over the place trying to get the “squirrel” out of my pant leg.  My insane reaction must have scared the poor squirrel into submission because he froze and my co-worker was able to get him into the net and out the front door. 

So, if you ever get a flying squirrel in your house realize that 1) wearing baggy pants is not a good idea and 2) that they are nocturnal, so if you don’t see them during the day do not let your guard down!  They are still there just waiting to get you and ruin your image at work!

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House or Bust Overreaction or necessary changes?

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