Thursday, August 20, 2009


Now, I mentioned that the dryer died yesterday too. What I didn't mention is that it died in the middle of me washing my sheets, mattress pad and body pillow. Because of this, my mattress is nude, and remained so all night long.

Also, because of this, I elected to sleep on the couch last night. You'll be surprised to learn that I didn't sleep that well. First of all because I was on the couch. Secondly, because of the big ass cup of coffee I'd had earlier that day and thirdly because, hello? Squirrel.

So I woke up with the sun, not long after 6am. I resisted the urge to hop into the bathroom for my morning pee because I hadn't heard the trap snap shut at any point last night. I could, however, still hear the rhythmic squeal and screech of distressed squirrel emanating from the eastern side of my apartment. I turned my head and saw the cat doing that slow motion stalking thing that cats do when there's a bird or mouse-shaped toy nearby. Only she was facing in the wrong direction. When I went to bed last night, the squirrel was trapped in the bathroom, pulling at bits of carpet and knocking over my shampoo. When I got up this morning, apparently the state of the union had changed.

I put both feet on the ground and went to investigate what I feared was going to be a squirrel-led coup, starting with the bathroom and then slowly taking over my life, one room at a time. I was lucky. It wasn't sitting on my uncased pillows lording it over me and the cat with its beady eyes spelling out the terms and conditions of this new dictatorship. It was, however, out of the bathroom. WTF?

*sigh* I look at the bathroom, the door is still shut. I open it. There's the trap, sitting innocent as you please and unsprung on the bathrooom floor. You know what else is on the bathroom floor? The little rug I had left OUTSIDE the bathroom door last night (it usually lives on both sides of the door jamb, providing protection for the carpet there), as well as ample evidence of the squirrel chewing on both the rug and the apartment carpet on its route to escape.

My bathroom floor now is littered with carpet shavings, and the squirrel has won this round. I check the door clearance. When the door is open, there's maybe 2 inches free until it hits the linoleum floor. With the door closed, there's maybe 1 inch of airspace (without the extra rug) between the bottom of the door and the carpet, but apparently, one inch is all some squirrels need.

Now this thing is loose in my bedroom. My worst nightmare. I grab the trap and re-close the bathroom door, hopefully securing it from further invasion. I back myself into the bedroom and see a flash of tail as the squirrel takes refuge behind the desk in the corner of my room. I lay the trap at in front of the desk, knowing it's a useless action as I do so.

I slip into the bathroom, happy to be using it in peace and notice that it doesn't smell like it usually does. Could it really smell like this just from being closed up for 12 hours? That's not right. Then it occurs to me. I'm likely the olfactory victim of Eau de Squirrel Piss. Great. I retrieve a scented candle and put it to work, the cleaning will have to wait until my visitor is gone. Then I retreat to the couch to finish my book and take my mind off things.

I still hear the squirrel squeaking as I read, but I've gotten used to it by now and tune it out. I've also left the balcony door wide open, just in case the little bugger wants to move on to its next conquest. I know I'm not that lucky, but it's 6:30 in the morning and there's nothing left to do.

Maintenance knocks on my door at 8:30am. I thought I'd have to call him, but no, he swung by looking for the full trap I was supposed to leave on the stairs overnight for him to collect. I break the news to him. He takes it like a man.

He says he'll be back with a broom and squirrel-grabber-thingymawhatsit to get this thing out. He returns in minutes and beats the square foot behind the desk with his broom, trying to get some movement. Nothing. Then the poor man has to get down on his hands and knees in my messy bedroom and poke and prod at all the available crevices trying to roust this thing out.

But first he has to move some things, like my oversized teddy bear, a hamper full of clothes and my big bag o' porn. (I thought he was gonna strain a bicep). It's a good thing he doesn't have allergies, or the dustbunnies and cat hair would have laid him out flat. I'm sitting on my naked mattress wondering how many dildoes I have left out in plain sight, he's on the floor searching for rodents. We finally decide it's probably under the bed and he shoves the thingymawhatsit under the bed while I bounce up and down on top of it.

The squirrel flees with a thump and a streak of gray fur.

We abandon the bedroom (I close that door behind me too) and start searching the living and dining room for signs of the intruder. After 5 minutes we decide it's all clear and congratulate ourselves for the well-run execution of our extermination campaign.

Then we remember the dryer, the likely point of entrance for my overnight visitor. Mr Maintenance man gives it a cursory inspection and says he'll be back, but in the meantime, can I clear away the extra clothes so he has full access? Not a problem I say, and start scooping up clothes as soon as he leaves.

It seems I'm not done with the squirrel just yet. I look at the newly cleared space and see my visitor has left behind a scatological calling card. A personal Fuck You for both me and my laundry room floor. Maybe the squirrel had some coffee yesterday too.

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