This past winter I had an intruder in my attic. Not the two legged type, only a four legged, naughty little squirrel I referred to as Thumper because of the endless thumping sounds he made. I didn't know it at the time, but I have since been told by a squirrel lover that for some reason squirrels like to sit around and thump their tails.
At first I had no objections to the little furry fellow seeking refuge from the frigid weather in the top floor of my house. At night when all was quiet, I imagined him up there snuggling in a corner for warmth. During the day, I would hear little thumps on the wooden floor, and somehow I felt happy about giving Thumper a home.
Then things started to go haywire in my house. First, the satellite to my bedroom television went out. I called a technician, and it took him an expensive hour to find and fix the problem.
“Appears you have rats in your attic, lady. Your satellite cable has been chewed in two.”
“Rats? I don't have rats! I have a squirrel living up there, but surely he wouldn't chew through wiring, would he?”
“Yes, indeedy, lady. Squirrels are destructive little critters, and they just love to gnaw on wires.”
I was dumbfounded. There were all kinds of wires up there. “What can I do to make him go away?”
“Put mothballs out up there. They don't like the smell.” The balding, plump technician replied, offering me a toothless grin as he handed me a bill for a hundred bucks.
So began the effort to get Thumper to move out. After shooing him away proved to be futile, I placed mothballs all over the attic. Apparently the odor didn't bother him in the least because he didn't move out. The thumping only got louder. I wondered what he was chewing on now.
That question was soon answered when the back yard lights went kaput. The lights are set to come on automatically at night, but that suddenly stopped happening. I called an electrician, and he found the problem in the attic. Thumper had been busy again.
My sinister electrician snickered as he handed me a second costly bill. “I had one of those varmints in my attic, and I fed him poisoned food. That took care of the little devil.”
That was absolutely out of the question. Poisoning an animal was something I would not do. Still, Thumper was proving to be an expensive housemate. Something had to be done, but what?
Before I could figure it out, my home alarm keypad indicated there was a window open and would not allow me to arm the system. I checked all the windows and they were locked and secure.
You guessed it. Another technician and another bill was presented to me in honor of my furry pal upstairs.
“Please tell me how to get rid of that squirrel. I don't want to poison him. I love squirrels, but I can't afford this one anymore!” I cried to a sympathetic alarm technician.
“Well, you could try trapping him, and then you could take him to the woods and release him.” Finally, a compassionate and intelligent solution!
I called the person who does my yard work and lo and behold, he had a squirrel trapping cage. No harm would come to the Thumper. When he followed a trail of corn leading him inside the cage the door would close automatically.
It worked like a charm. Thumper tripped the trap as he went in to eat the corn and ended up in jail. I've never heard such a racket. Opening the door to the attic, I saw poor Thumper jumping around in a frenzy and biting furiously at the wires of the cage.
“It's okay, little guy. I'm just taking you to your new home.”
Taking the cage with my frantic little friend in it, I drove to a thick wooded area a couple of miles away and set him free. He scampered away in a flash and scurried up a nearby oak tree.
"Goodbye, Thumper. I'm sorry, but you shouldn't have been so naughty."
It's been over a month now since I had to say farewell to Thumper, and I am glad to report my attic wires are all intact. Still and all, the house is much too silent, and I must admit I do miss that naughty little tail thumper.
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