It’s getting cold in the north, and the little wild animals are trying to come inside. Since the first little critter somehow breached the barrier, finding its way inside the outside wall of our home over three weeks ago, it’s been next to impossible to work. Behind her came her entire family, spreading out, ranging far and wide inside the soffit, ceiling, and outside wall of our kitchen.

The toothless diabetic cat can’t do much. Old age has rendered him ineffective. He used to keep us rodent free, but now he merely looks at me with disdain, disgusted by my failure to do so. Then he stretches out in the sunlight to sleep undisturbed. He doesn’t know we’ll be bringing home a rambunctious new kitten or two tomorrow to brighten up his days. We need a mouser.

horror photo

Photo by Muffet

The eerie sound of small critters scurrying inside our walls gives me the willies. I’m a mess. It’s been like a horror movie – The Attack of the Rodents. I’m haunted by the pitter-patter of little claws and the constant anticipation of them breaking through. A trapped rodent set free inside the house is never fun. Since there is a group, I expect to be bound and gagged first before they maniacally destroy the house and eat their way through our pantry. Perhaps my husband can rescue me when he gets home, unless they catch him unawares and jump him from behind.

Because autumnal rodent invasion is a common issue in the north, it took a long time for the critter removal company to get to our home. Catch-and-release traps are now set around the perimeter. But meanwhile, within the house, the rodents have grown increasingly bold. Yesterday, as expected, the first adolescent red squirrel found his way out of the wall and right into the kitchen.

I got to him before he got to me. Two words: glue trap.

Then the cat stood beside me, eyes fixed on the critter with an occasional glance at me, accompanied by a “meow” for moral support. Clearly he’s still a predator at heart. Via Facetime my oldest daughter and her husband talked me through it.

Me (shrieking, hysterical): “I can’t grab the trap! What if the rodent bites me?”

Son-in-law (reassuring, pastorly): “Put on oven mitts. Lift the whole thing right into the trash can. You can do it!”

Daughter: Calmly offers her nurse-practitioner medical assurance of the rodent’s approaching demise and a tale of her little brother’s refusal to help her out of just such an incident long ago. She makes me laugh. Laughter is her best tool.

Whew! I did it! One down. Three trapped, momma red squirrel the most recent. Just a few more to go. Today, one of them slipped and slid down inside the ceiling over the basement stairs. I about lost my mind! It was impossible at first to tell where the rodent was. I thought he was loose in the basement. That really gave me the creepy crawlies. Now he keeps climbing back up, only getting about half way before he slides back down again. I don’t know if my sanity is intact any longer.

My strong, outdoorsy, hunter friend was here when it happened. Shaken, she jumped up and immediately invited me to her home for the rest of the siege. Unfortunately, I can’t leave. I have to guard the home front. See why I’m having a hard time working!

Maybe after the last rodent has been banished or eradicated, I’ll be able to concentrate on my manuscript and get back to drafting the sequel to No Longer Alone! For now I’m still fighting the rodents. Pray for me. I’m serious!

 

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