Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Have A Heart

Yesterday I talked about those pesky, annoying squirrels that were taunting me and draining our bank account with their voracious, unstoppable appetites. Truly, I wouldn't mind feeding them if they EVER got full. But they don't. They eat and eat and eat and invite their friends in to do the same. Then they hang on and swing on the feeder evidently trying to get it to fall while reaching their nasty little paws in and swiping out every seed and nut they can get their hands on.

Maybe it's because I once heard them described as rats with fluffy tails that I started to turn against them. I know when we first moved here I felt kind of left out because we didn't have squirrels. And when I spotted this little guy ten years ago I thought he was one of the cutest little animals EVER.

So cute that this was one of my favorite pictures for a long time. But their over population and their rude, annoying habits have finally gotten the best of me. They caused me to get so irrational that when I had my shoulder surgery, I asked Mr. Right if, in lieu of flowers, he'd get me a live squirrel trap. He didn't.

His solution was to buy bird seed that the squirrels wouldn't be interested in and that worked kind of. But it turns out that some of my favorite birds weren't interested in it either.

So when I was well enough to shop and carry something in my unaffected hand, I bought one myself. It's a Hav-A-Hart live animal trap. What could be wrong with that? I do have a heart - really.

So we set the trap. A couple of days later there was a frantic little squirrel in it. Since Mr. Right was working a double that day, I took the little guy to what appeared to be a very squirrel-friendly environment with water and lots of trees and even other squirrels and set him loose. It felt good but bad. I was oh so glad that he was gone but I worried that he was nervous. (I swear he cried in the car on the way to his new home.) I worried that he wouldn't get along well with the other squirrels in the area and that he'd have a hard time acclimating to his new environment.

But at the first opportunity (the next evening), I asked Mr. Right to reset the trap. Sure enough we caught another one. And I felt better about taking him to the same habitat where hopefully he'd hook up with the old friend that I released there a couple of days prior.

We set the trap again. Before I went to Physical Therapy that morning I checked the trap and it was empty. I came home in mid afternoon and it looked like we'd caught another one - a really big one this time. So the minute Mr. Right got home, I told him we needed to release the large squirrel we'd caught. He agreed and we went out for a closer inspection and that big old trap was fur from front to back and top to bottom - solid fur.

I told Mr. Right that I didn't know what it was but it wasn't a squirrel and I thought it was dead. Then the raccoon's ear twitched and I knew that we'd caught a real koi pond enemy. A raccoon can decimate a koi pond in no time. They're clever and determined and can circumvent almost every protection a human can install. They tear up plants, knock over and break any decorations in their path and eat koi. Or, if they're not particularly hungry, they just bite their heads off and leave the parts scattered around the pond. No, you don't want raccoons anywhere near your koi pond.

So we took him for a ride too. We went farther this time, at least four miles 'as the crow flies', and found a wooded area with a large water feature in the middle of it. As soon as we opened the door the big fellow backed out. He was absolutely enormous. Mr. Right swore he was as big as a dog. I'd say knee high when he was standing tall. He immediately took off through the woods, splashing right through the middle of the large swampy pond ......... on a bee line toward our house. We found out later that you're supposed to take them at least ten miles to preclude their eventual return. Ugh! I'm just hoping that he has trouble finding his way across the interstate and has a fear of large bridges.

So maybe those doggone pesky squirrels saved our koi pond. I don't know. All I know is that we've relocated two more squirrels and I'm not ready to stop. These varmints are country animals after all and shouldn't be in the city. Mr. Right knows of two friends who were severely bitten by squirrels. So I'm thinking the country is the place for them to be - away from people, especially children.

And if I have anything to say about it, that's where every squirrel for miles around will end up. We're at four and counting....


  1. Squirrels are pesky things. You are much more creative than we were. We just got a squirrel guard for our bird feeder and had a good time the first few days watching the squirrels go crazy trying to get past it. Hope you catch them all.

  2. I don't know why I think this story is so funny....maybe because you thought the squirrel was crying? Maybe because you felt so bad? I'm not sure.. Very cute. Anyway, I can't believe you caught a big old raccoon. I have even a better idea for the guy. hmmmm. Hopefully word will spread in the squirrel community that they are all leaving in cages and they'll quit coming to your yard!!

  3. AmyA, I thought the squirrel crying was funny, too. Maybe I'm a cold-hearted person. Or maybe I just let nature take its course. I don't encourage my dogs to hunt. They're just being dogs. But I'm not too awful sad when they catch a squirrel. I still have teeth marks on my patio steps where they gnawed when I didn't re-stock the peanuts fast enough (our life before dogs).


Gentle, strong, kind or true, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Short or long, it's up to you, your comments and thoughts really make my day!