December 4, 2018

A Broom and a Blanket

By Judith Costello, MA, OCDS

On Sunday morning, I let the dog out the back door and watched as it shot out into the yard to chase two squirrels. One ran away easily but the second one came back toward the house. I opened the door to yell at the dog. Then the dog and I stared up at the stucco walls. The squirrel had vanished! I was relieved.

A few minutes later I was sitting at the computer when the cat when whizzing by. She seemed to be chasing something across the living room. Seconds later, the chase continued across the desk. I saw the flash of a fuzzy tail. The squirrel was in the house!

I grabbed the cat and locked her in the bathroom. (She was greatly offended.) Then I found where the squirrel was hiding behind a picture on the floor. I did what all modern folks do…I asked for advice on Facebook!

The advice was thoroughly modern too…”Call Critter Control”, “Buy a trap”, “Get it out fast before it does damage.” When I asked my 93-year-old mother what to do, she said, “Open the front door. Then get a broom and a blanket.”

We tried to shoo the squirrel from it’s hiding place. I heard a noise on the side of the room closest to the door. Then silence. So I let the cat out of the bathroom. She sniffed a little and laid down. I thought for sure she was saying, “Ho hum. It’s gone” but really she was saying, “I’m the one who needs attention now. You hurt my feelings!”

We proceeded through the rest of the day without any sign of a squirrel. She waiting until nightfall. Then the chase was on again. This time the dog was chasing and the cat was watching. The squirrel ran up the chimney and the dog tried to fit herself up there as well. While the dog was stuffing her big body into a small space, the squirrel ran into the dining room and hid behind the radiator!

Mom, the dog and the cat, were giving me conflicting ideas about where the critter went next. I finally announced I was going to bed. We had opened both the door and the window until the house was freezing. There were no more squirrel noises so we thought it might have run out. Regardless I said, “If we put the cat and dog in the bedrooms, the squirrel will be safe to live for another day.”

The next morning there was no sign of the squirrel so I headed to work. At three o’clock Mom called to say the dog had the squirrel cornered behind the refrigerator. “Come home.”

When I arrived 2 hours later, there were board barriers up everywhere and the squirrel was running. The dog was still standing guard at the fridge. She was a step behind every time! The cat was so mad about all the inattention to her, that she ran out the front door. The squirrel hid again in a place we didn’t see.

It was after I went to bed that Mom called again. The chase was on. This time Mom held out the blanket so the squirrel wouldn’t go into the living room. I had the broom and dog said the squirrel was behind the radiator by the desk.

The dog got to visit the bathroom while I pushed the broom into the space next to the radiator. A squeal confirmed that the squirrel was there. When it ran out, I yelled “EEKK”—my running critter automatic response! Mom thought it was funny.

The squirrel ran across the desk and then up the stairs. I ran after it. Fortunately, it decided to run back down and this time, it felt the broom coming and it flew out the door!

We closed and locked the front door confident that the adventure was over. But the next morning, I visited the squirrel on the porch! It was hiding behind a board but its tail was sticking out. I got to pet it twice until she gave me a lecture, “I have had just about enough of you people!”

The cat came out to say hello to her friend. She thinks of herself as more of a squirrel than a cat. By the afternoon, our 2-day visitor had found its way out the propped open door.

I’m glad the traditional advice of a broom and a bit of patience won over the rush to “get it out now.” Here’s hoping the squirrel visits us again…but on the window ledge OUTSIDE the house!

Judith Costello, MA, OCDS, is an artist and writer. She is the founder of Unwind Studio: Where Art Relieves Stress. She shows her artwork under the name “Lady in the Sky Studio.” She has written over 65 Craft Columns for New Mexico Kids magazine complete with How To illustrations and photos. Judith has two books available on How to Pray Like the Saints and the second is on Mariology: To Mary, Our Morning Star. Her complete profile is on LinkedIn.

Filed Under: Humor