Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Animal Control, or How to Remove A Squirrel Trapped in Your Fireplace (redux)

In honor of my brother's return to the States for a brief R&R, here's a re-post of a funny-but-true experience he had a couple years ago when an uninvited guest invaded the fireplace. Enjoy!

How to remove a squirrel trapped in your fireplace in 12 easy steps:

Step 1: Call pest removal service and get a quote.
Step 2: Have your spouse resuscitate you after you hear price quote.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 until every pest removal service in the phone book has been contacted or until you understand that the lowest price quote is still going to be over $100.
Step 4: Contemplate purchasing commercially available trap.
Step 5: Decide $25 is still too much to pay and retrieve cage of your late hamster.
Step 6: Place cracked corn inside of cage, attach wire to door for remote closure, place cage (quickly) into fireplace.
Step 7: After about 12 hours of waiting, realize that the squirrel is NOT falling for it.
Step 8: Add seeds to cage and cover the cage with old tee-shirts to make it dark and cozy.
Step 9: Accept the fact that the squirrel will NEVER enter your trap.
Step 10: Lose patience with squirrel, get out flashlight, lantern, digital camera, and canned air.
Step 11: Harass squirrel mercilessly. This part is fun.
Step 12: Fear is good motivator. The squirrel exits back up the chimney the way he came in.

7  Things I learned while trying to evict a squirrel:

1. A squirrel can growl.
2. Squirrels do not like flash photography.
3. Squirrels will stare you down.
4. Squirrels jump when sprayed with canned air. 
5. Angry/scared squirrels in confined spaces can be quite entertaining.
6. Trapped squirrels are not fond of yelling, running children.
7. With enough motivation a squirrel can clear obstacles that were previously insurmountable.

"I made the mistake of leaving the shirt in the fireplace," said Bubba, "because he (the squirrel) just wallered it around until he made a cozy nest and went to sleep. He stopped trying to escape."

Here's a Sunday sermon: Even if your captivity is comfortable, you're still not free.

In addition to the above observation about no longer trying to escape, my wise younger brother said this several months ago: "When you get to the point that this is unacceptable, you take steps to change it. But you don't change until your dissatisfaction with where you are outweighs the risk of stepping out on faith." (Context can be read here.)

Amen, brother. Amen.

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