I am paranoid every time the tree branches scrape against the window. The reason is because I had not one, but two crafty squirrels find their way into the house last month. I was standing at the kitchen sink watering and pruning some plants when I heard scratching noises which seemed to be coming from inside the wall. I shut the water off and stood there following the sound as it made its way further along what seemed like an endless Habitrail in my moss colored walls. I was trying to figure out if I was indeed hearing what I thought was an animal tunneling through the walls of the kitchen when the dog wandered in and tilted his head to one side. Then he reared up on his back legs and let out a bark like only a seventy five pound mutt can give when protecting his damsel in distress. That's my boy. Once the husband was home there were no noises anymore and he tried to reassure me by selling the 'it was probably the trees against the window' story but my faithful friend and I knew better. That night and the following morning I kept thinking that I was periodically hearing the scamper of something in the walls. Edgar Allen Poe couldn't have crafted the scene any better.
Calling exterminators was like trying to close a real estate deal. "We will come at night but you'll have to pay double." "We'll set a trap but no one can come to check it until Monday" because my squirrel showed up on Friday. "We'll come if it is in the attic but not a wall." One of the exterminators nonchalantly suggested simply taking down the wall.
The next day Alvin the chipmunk, or whoever was in there, was back and now it sounded like it was actually in the cabinets. Or maybe it spent the night and was just now making a late start to the morning. Either way it was 'check out' time.
I woke up the dog who was curled up in his favorite barrel chair and got him to reluctantly come with me to the other side of the house. He was curled up in a room adjacent to the dining room and kitchen and this had the potential, after chasing many a squirrel up a tree in the yard, to be the one that didn't get away. I closed the wooden and glass paned door to the dining room and placed the call to the husband at work to get the ball rolling with the exterminator and he assured me once again that there was no way this persistent critter was going to get into the house. As he spoke I got to see who was making all the racket as a squirrel appeared to look through the glass paneled door. It took one look at me and then frantically started to dart about the dining room. This is when it pays off to have nice neighbors as I got mine to stop raking leaves and come and help me show this bushy tailed intruder the door.
Squirrel number two came in through a hole in the drain pipe above the windows in the den. Fortunately, when he was out gathering nuts we were able to plug the hole and we have not heard any more suspect scratching. As I rounded our corner in the car yesterday I passed a squirrel who never made it to the other side of the street. I wonder if it was one of the guests in the walls? Well, he won't be going anywhere now. The complete opposite series of events of an Edgar Allen Poe classic.