Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catch and Release

I think I’ve mentioned the active animal life in our new neighborhood. I’m concerned there’s a Killer Squirrel close by because something chewed a huge hole in my plastic garbage can lid. I only moved a couple of miles away from my old house and nothing ever tried to eat my garbage can when I lived there. Sure one Halloween it was tagged with a smiley face but to my knowledge the plastic was never actually consumed.

I’m starting to miss the skunks, and the huge albino possum that at one point may have lived under my front porch for a couple of weeks in my old neighborhood. Now I have to contend with foxes, wild turkeys, killer squirrels, deer, snakes and small frogs in my backyard. Actually, I’m fine with all of that because I can hide in the safety and sanctity of my house.

Saturday, I went in the kitchen and heard a rustling behind the stove. It was unmistakably an animal. As ghostly fingers started running up and down my spine, I stifled a scream and went to find the only person who could help -- my husband. He was in the middle of a project. Poor Brianne was given the old office as her bedroom. The only problem with that was that it has six glass panels in the door. That doesn’t give a twelve year old a lot of privacy. So, my husband was replacing her door.

We went upstairs with different emotions. I was freaking out. My husband was annoyed because this messed up his schedule and Brianne was excited at the idea of an animal in the house. As my husband tried to figure out how to take off the stove hood I taped sheets over the doorways and stuffed suitcases in at the bottom. I wanted the animal to have only one way to exit the kitchen; because if I had a wild animal loose in my house my brain could actually explode and I might have to move.

As my husband started the process of dismantling the hood and decorative shelf, I huddled behind the sheet for safety, peering out at Bri who was holding the bag and flashlight. J. took out screws and banged on things with a hammer then . . . silence. We thought it flew out. I was so relieved. J. put stuff back together and went back downstairs. We stationed Lizzy on the ladder watching the roof and everyone returned to what they were doing.

I started making dinner as we needed fortification after that stressful experience when . . . rustle, rustle, rustle. “It’s not gone!” I scream in my head. This time my husband brought up something to pry apart the cabinets because he was determined to remove the animal from our premises; I retaped the sheet over a doorway and stationed my six year-old at another with a rug to wave. I cowered behind her. I peered in the kitchen and I saw a little bat nose poking out from the vent duct. I retreated again behind Lizzy and very maturely did a freak out dance. J. and Bri captured the bat, took it outside and let it go. It circled a couple of times before flying away, hopefully never to return to my oven vent!

Then I walked into the bathroom only to find a spider.

I learned a couple of lessons from this experience. 1. Apparently maternal love only goes so far with me. If I am scared I will throw my children to the curb. 2. It is good to have children that are not scared of animals. If this ever happens again Bri will know what to do and that could come in handy if my husband is away. 3. I can simultaneously realize a bat's nose is cute while being close to death. 4. I am without doubt a complete and utter wus.


Anonymous said...

Great experience! Good thing you wrote it down. I need to write down Jonathon's experience with a hobo in his hand. I'm sure the whole neighborhood heard me scream. The washing of the outside of the house was postponed for about an hour until I calmed down. That was very traumatic! But, we are both okay, more or less, I still get chills when I think about it.
love ya,

Anonymous said...

That isn't a squirrel!

Life as the mother of 4 said...

Thanks -- that makes me even more nervous!

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