If you haven’t read the previous post, do so before you continue.
On top of the vertical blinds that cover the sliding door to the backyard, I see the furry beast in all its glory: this is the ugliest and biggest squirrel I’ve ever seen (and will be referred to as Brutus the Squirrel from now on). I slowly drop the bag full of deadly rat traps and grab a broom (and my camera, of course). My plan is to get to the sliding door itself, only a few feet away from the monster, and slide the door open so as to give it an escape route. Then, help him choose the escape route by using the broom as the instrument of persuasion.
Brutus the Squirrel is one big squirrel, I must say.
I fail. As I start slowly opening the door, Brutus jumps to the kitchen and dissappears under the cabinets where I keep the pots and pans. I wait… nothing. I slam things around… nothing. Not a sound. Apparently there is a way out through that cabinet, to the back, to who knows where (probably the attic). With our first battle behind us, I start to clean up. Thankfully, squirrel poop is very solid and dry. It’s everywhere, mind you, but it’s solid and dry. Twenty minutes later, the house is poop free and I’ve set the biggest rat trap I bought in the kitchen, right by the corner Brutus dissappeared to.
I finally go to sleep. With the adrenaline still pumping, it is a light sleep. I have nightmares of mangled squirrels running around, broken bones from a rat trap that is too small to kill it, shrieking in pain, maybe leaving a trail of blood and squirrel shit (in my nightmares it’s not solid and dry at all). Maybe I shouldn’t have set the trap. I start feeling this thing inside me I’ve never felt before, something alien, something they call compassion. Perhaps I’m human, after all. Not human enough to get out of bed and get rid of the trap though. The $40 dollar humane trap is not looking like such a bad option all of a sudden.
The next morning at 8:30 sharp the doorbell wakes me up. It’s María, the cleaning lady. She’s no ordinary cleaning lady, she’s more like the cleaning Terminator. A real machine. All morning she and her daughter are cleaning, mopping, making sure not a single molecule of squirrel dung remains in the premises. They clean spots I didn’t even know existed. And through tall of his, no sign of Brutus. I must have scared it enough the previous night that it decided I’m too formidable a foe and it should better not come back.
Later, I’m sitting in my room making swift progress in my Sudoku (advanced, mind you). I hear the vertical blinds move again… Did Maria leave the sliding door open and the wind is shuffling them? Or did Brutus come back?
I quietly make my way out and sure enough, there he is. Brutus the Squirrel. The bastard somehow resisted the lure of the peanut butter in the rat trap. This is no ordinary squirrel.
“So, squirrel, we meet again.” I say in my best James Earl Jones personification (it’s not very good).
Unable to come up with a clever response to that, the squirrel remains quiet and tense, simply looking back defiantly at me like we were engaged in the Ultimate Game of Stare. What Brutus does not know is that I’,m a master strategist and have learned from my mistakes in our last encounter. With slow movements, I close all the doors to the bathroom and bedrooms, I slowly open the door of the house, the laundry room (the garage door was open), giving Brutus an obvious escape route out of the house. Except now, as I approach him, I do it through the kitchen, blocking the one escape route I least want him to take.
It works! Brutus runs out of the house, accross the street and is promptly run over by a blue Ford pickup. Yeah, right. That would have been sweet. It actually makes it to the house accross the street and disappears from sight. At least he’s not my problem anymore.
For now, the trap remains set in the kitchen, should Brutus be unwise enough to decide to come back for more. If nothing else happens, after the New Year’s I’ll have to make my next move, which will probably be to have experts inspect the house, the attic, lay whatever traps they need to lay, seal all holes, and what not. Let’s hope I don’t get anymore surprises between now and then.