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Friday, September 28, 2012

Menagerie Mayhem

There's never a dull moment at Mog Cottage. With seven cats and one dog you'd think we'd have enough critters for one small house. But I guess we have to include the urban wildlife, since they seem to help themselves to our hospitality of cat food and warm lodgings. I've written about how the neighborhood raccoons and opossums come in through the cat door and help themselves to the cat food. The coons have even come into the kitchen and the mama's have made it a habit of showing their charges where the best and easiest pickin's are located. Roland says that the cats and urban wildlife have a joint operating agreement. We had a good relocation program going until the city caught wind and threatened to take away our birthdays. But that's another story.

Well, recently we've had what seems to be a growing brood of squirrels in the attic. I first started hearing them chewing up there last spring and with a brief quiet summer, they're back at it this fall. The neighbors admitted that they have been entertained looking out their kitchen window at twelve little rodents sunning themselves in the opening in the soffit hole where they've found their attic access.

Scared out of his wits and missing some tail!
Now they're not satisfied with the attic but have decided to expand into the house! For the last two days Snorky has been in heaven cornering three squirrels in various areas of the house. All of a sudden I hear barking and shrieking emanating from the kitchen or bedroom only to find a little terrified fury body huddled into a crevice resigned to its fate. It might have been going on for hours since I discover the mayhem when I get home late int he day. The squirrels have been youngsters and one manage to lose the end of his tail, I guess from exposing it to high out of the hiding place. Due to this distinction, I've surmised that it's been in the house twice now - not too bright but squirrels aren't known for their brains.

I've gotten quite good at taking a coffee can and a ruler to scoop them up to take them back outside. Sort of like a big spider, but cuter. Of course I have to remove the squealing dog from the premises first in order to concentrate on catching the rodent. It pretty much just huddles in the can until I take it outside where I have to dislodge it with several good shakes onto a camellia branch so it can recover from the ordeal. But there's no guarantee that it will have safe quarter in the shrub as the cats line up around the bottom and give chase when it attempts a get away. Squirrels are such fun things to chase.

Now I like wildlife, but I draw the line when they decide the inside of the house is a good place to set up camp. If this keeps up, they'll be getting a ride to the park down the road. We haven't been able to figure out where they're coming in, but I suspect that the coons and possums may be showing them the cat door.

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