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The squirrel in the closet 2

June 29, 2021

Is the squirrel still in the closet? Well, that is the question. I’m not sure.

Yesterday, as I was doing something on the computer, I heard a noise that sounded like a peanut shell being cracked. Went to investigate and, yes indeed, the peanut shell nearest the closet door was now empty. Of the squirrel, no sign. Conclusion? It came out for a snack then scurried back to the top shelf. Moved the small bowl of water further away and put it down beside the second peanut.

Meanwhile, my friend Jane was entertaining herself by leaving unhelpful comments on yesterday’s post about the squirrel babies that were about to be born and the internet sensation me and my adopted family of squirrels were going to be. (Despite repeatedly telling her to fuck off, she was, I confess, entertaining me, too.)

A Facebook check in the afternoon revealed an offer from Heather, an island friend, to lend me a catch and release trap. Immediately rang her, but it went to voicemail. Left a message, then sent her an email and a direct message. She responded to the latter, saying she was at the beach, but had probably had enough, so was heading home where I could meet her. (At the beach? On a day as hot as yesterday? Why? Oh, yes, to go in the water to cool off. Right. Shame I really don’t like getting wet for any reason other than having a shower.)

Got in the car and started heading to her place. En route I suddenly remembered the car has air conditioning. The last time I actually used it was during a trip to the Okanagan two years ago with another friend, Irmani. Switch it on gratefully. The last time I was this hot was during that trip.

At her place, she and her husband Paul show me how to use the trap. Peanut butter, they say, is the ticket. 

Come home, after a quick stop at the liquor store to replenish my supply of gin. (If ever there was gin and tonic weather, this is it.) Set the trap.

Then close the closet door. (Don’t worry, it’s louvred, so I wasn’t going to asphyxiate the squirrel.)

All evening I was expecting to hear the trap shut and the squirrel squawking. Nope. Went to bed. Got up this morning and opened the closet door. Trap still open, no sign of squirrel (squawking or otherwise). Bollocks. Did I set it wrong? Has the squirrel been in and out of the peanut butter diner? Nope. It’s set properly.

What to make of this?

I have been assured that peanut butter is like crack for squirrels (and rats). Could a squirrel go 16 hours in a closet with the smell of peanut butter and not be tempted? Perhaps, but there is another possibility. Perhaps at some point yesterday, when I was on the computer or stretched out on the sofa under the fan or watering the garden, perhaps the squirrel, not bothering to stop for one of the other peanuts in the trail to the door, managed to find his or her way to the open door and freedom. Perhaps the squirrel was gone before I set the trap?

It’s a nice thought, but the only way to confirm it is to get on that chair, remove all the boxes from the top shelf and then remove all my clothes from the closet. Two problems. 

One, it’s still too bloody hot to be shifting boxes. If it wasn’t, I’d have shifted all the boxes of books I’ve filled for the library book sale downstairs to be collected.

(Yes, that’s quite the clear out I’ve had in recent weeks. A fair number of the books are Mike’s books on peace and disarmament – books I know I will never read. But I’ve also had quite a serious look at the fiction: Will I ever read this novel again? Am I ever likely to want to lend this novel to anyone? No? Into a box!)

Two, having proffered it as a possibility yesterday, I can’t quite get the idea of a frightened, enraged squirrel shooting suddenly out of the closet and biting me on the nose.

So, methinks I will leave the trap in place for another day or two, by which time the weather is supposed to go back to something approaching “normal” (although heaven knows what that means now that we’ve fucked the climate) and I might have the energy to remove the boxes and clothes from the closet.

Watch this space.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. Catherine Stewart permalink

    Many moons ago my friend’s dad lived in Belleville, Ontario and loved feeding the birds. One particularly devious squirrel kept finding it’s way into the feeders no matter what deterrents he used. He bought a live trap and caught the bugger. Drove it to the other side of the river and set it free. Couple of days later it was back. Caught it again, over the river to release. A few days later he was out for a walk and saw a car pull over by some woods. Man got out, opened a live trap and released a squirrel. Yup – he lived on the other side of the river. They agreed on a new release location, far from town. Good luck – hope the closet is empty.

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