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The squirrel in the closet

June 28, 2021

That’s right. I am not kidding. I am not employing a euphemism. I am not talking about bats in the belfry. There is a fucking squirrel in my closet.

Yesterday afternoon I heard a noise coming from the front room. It sounded as if Stella had knocked something over on the dressing table or one of the bedside tables. Then there was a funny noise, as if Stella was coughing or something. I was, at the time, stretched out on the sofa underneath the ceiling fan, which was going full speed. (We’re in the middle of an unbelievable heatwave.) I got up and went to investigate, but couldn’t see anything. Looked around, couldn’t see Stella anywhere. Looked outside. Nope. I started calling her and eventually saw her emerge from the closet. Poor thing. The only thing worse than this heatwave would be trying to endure it wearing a fur coat. I went into the kitchen and pulled a cooler bag out of the freezer, wrapped it in a pillow case and put it on the floor outside the closet.

A little while later I went to check on her. She wasn’t on the bag, but she was lying beside it. Okay, fair enough. When I went back a bit later to check, she wasn’t there. That’s when I spotted something – a squirrel (or oh, my god, a rat? that’s another story) scurrying up onto the top shelf in the closet. Holy shit. 

I went into the kitchen to get the broom. After a few pushes the thing ( a squirrel – phew!) leapt out. It did not run out of the house. It shot straight up the front of my dress. I shrieked and knocked it off, at which point it shot up my clothes in the closet to the top shelf. Tried again and the same thing happened – squirrel shoots out of closet, straight up my dress, I shriek, swat it and back up the shelf it goes. What the fuck?

Well, at least it isn’t a rat.

Every window in the house is opened as wide as it will go, including the windows behind the bed which aren’t all that far from some branches on a cedar tree. I’ve never had a squirrel wander into the house before. I suspect it jumped in through the window by the bed and that the sound I heard was it knocking the lamp. 

I do not want a squirrel in my closet, but how to get it out? I could stand on a chair and remove all the boxes on the top shelf so there’s nowhere to hide up there, but then what? The odds are the freaked out squirrel would bite me. And if it did, I’d need a tetanus shot, but the medical centre is closed at the weekend. So, no, emptying the shelf was not a good plan.

Could I tempt it out? Squirrels like peanuts and I have a bag of those. Grab the bag and leave a trail of peanuts leading out the back door. Return to the sofa, under the fan. I do not hear any peanut crunching noise. 

Make myself some dinner. Too bloody hot to cook anything, so it’s deli salads and smokies, consumed with Shaena Lambert’s wonderful novel about Petra Kelly, the first leader of the German Green party.

Chat with my friend Catherine, who lives in the interior, where it’s even hotter, but she actually has air conditioning, so she’s not collapsing from the heat.

Wash the dishes and, because it’s getting late, push the door most of the way closed with a bucket of dishwater behind it to slow down any intruder who might try to get in. Settle back down on the sofa to watch The Chi and John Oliver. Stella howls in the kitchen. Something is trying to get in through the door. Another cat? A raccoon? That’s all I need. I yell, get up to investigate. Nothing on the deck when I get there. Push the door further closed, leaving only enough space for a squirrel to fit through.

Last check of emails and Facebook. I had earlier written this post: “So, there’s a heatwave, my second jab tomorrow’s been cancelled and now there’s a fucking squirrel in my closet. (At least it’s not a rat.) Guess I’ll try a trail of peanuts to get him out of the house. Bloody hell.” (Yes, that’s right: thanks to the heatwave I am not getting my second Covid jab today.) One friend has responded with a suggestion that I leave some water out for the squirrel “in case it’s suffering. You don’t want a crazy dehydrated squirrel in your closet.” As I have little sympathy for the squirrel, I reply: “If it wants water it can get out of the fucking closet, find the peanut trail and find Stella’s water bowl, before following the rest of the peanuts out of the house.”

Go to bed and finish reading Petra. Turn off light. Go to sleep.

I wake up this morning and immediately look at the floor, hoping the peanuts will be gone or at least evidence that the shells have been cracked to get at the nuts inside. No such evidence. The fucking squirrel is still in the closet. 

It is too bloody hot to don protective clothing and gloves in order to climb up on a chair to remove the boxes from the shelf. And even if I did, as I discovered yesterday when it shot up the front of my dress, this fucker is fast. What if it flew at my face and bit me on the nose? Not only would I need a tetanus shot and some just-in-case antibiotics, but I’d have a big fucking squirrel bite on my nose. And the squirrel would just be hiding somewhere in the midst of my clothes, no doubt chewing garments apart for bits of cloth with which to make a nest. Fuck.

I’ve just put a bowl of water on the floor beside the closet. Well, I don’t want a crazy, dehydrated squirrel in my closet, do I? Maybe that will tempt the fucker out.

Note to self: If you ever get the fucking squirrel out of there, never leave the closet door open again. 

From → Blog

  1. janeshead permalink

    Prolly having babies in there 😀

    • Oh, thanks a fucking bunch.

      • janeshead permalink

        You’re welcome 😀 But. Actually, probably a good idea to check on that… I feel like it would have left by now if it didn’t have a good reason to stay.

      • My suspicion (hope) is he/she (let’s hope “he”) is simply freaked out. Having leapt in through the window, he’s got no fucking idea how to get out again.

      • PS The first of the peanut shells has now been cracked open, so he knows there are more.

      • janeshead permalink

        Well she’s got to keep her strength up to feed all her little ones 😀

      • Seriously, fuck off. 🙂

      • janeshead permalink

        Looking forward to the follow-up post “I’m raising a family of squirrels in my closet”. Imagine how cute – internet sensation!

      • What is it about “fuck off” you don’t understand? This is very stressful, you know.

      • janeshead permalink


      • 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Donna permalink

    Christ on a bike! I know I shouldn’t laugh, but omg, you know how to tell a funny story!
    Fingers crossed the squirrel takes the peanut trail out of there!

  3. Catherine Stewart permalink

    OMG Jane! Thank you for the best laugh I’ve had in ages. “She’s got to keep her strength up…” 😂. Sorry, sweetie . It’s stressful for sure. Try posting on your local FB group to see if you can borrow an Have-A-Heart live trap. Into the closet, with food and water, then fingers crossed you can set the beast free. A long, long way from the house.

    • It’s not all that stressful – just bloody annoying. And, yes, Jane, you were also making me laugh. Trying to sort a live trap right now.

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