Tag Archives: Squirrels

Just Plain Squirrely

A recent video making the rounds on Facebook about a baby squirrel made me cheer.

If you have not already seen this clip, take a moment.

Watched it? Good.

For those who could not be bothered, let me give you a quick snapshot of what you missed.

A man is gently holding a squirrel, clasping it close to his chest in a gesture of love and affection after having rehabilitated the sick critter.

He is near a tree and talking to the squirrel and encouraging it to return to nature as the squirrel takes a few tentative spider-like shimmies upward.

A happy ending, right?

Yes, until a cat flashes into view, grabs the squirrel in its jaws and there is much screaming.

Score one for the cat I say.

I have had an enmity toward squirrels dating back years.

As a kid in the Bronx I recall digging “squirrel traps” with my friend Michael Butler.

Vietcong-like, we would dig holes, fill them with thorns from bushes and cover them with grass in the mistaken belief we would “catch” squirrels.

Why we did this I do not know. Bored boys in the Bronx is all I can suggest.

Flash-forward about 30 years and I am a first-time homeowner, complete with a shed in the backyard.

One of the first times I went in there I jumped out of my skin because a squirrel had built a nest by chewing a hole into it.

I spooked the squirrel. The squirrel spooked me. And the game was on.

I boarded up the hole.

The squirrel created a new one.

I cleaned out the nest — carefully.

The squirrel flipped me the paw.

And so it went.

Think of Bill Murray fighting the gopher in “Caddyshack” and you have some idea of what I was like.

Years later, the boys and I and my fiancée rented a two-family home that had a spacious attic. And in the attic was, you guessed it, more damn squirrels.

They chewed through the walls and left piles of sawdust everywhere like some beaver-wannabes.

But the all-time craziest encounter I had happened on a magnificent Sunday afternoon in May and we opened the inner and outer doors to the apartment to take advantage of the weather.

My fiancée and I were in the living room watching TV when we both perceived a blur of gray fly through the hallway.

We both looked at each as if to say, “Did you see that?”

Sure enough, a squirrel had bolted into the house.

It hid briefly in our bedroom, escaped into the kitchen, jumped into my lunch bag briefly before bounding upstairs and hiding in the kitchen there.

It remained a fugitive for a day as I tried to corner it with sticky traps (it left clumps of fur but otherwise escaped) and tried to lure it out with peanut butter.

We eventually opened the doors and it ushered itself out the same way it found itself in.

I just remember seeing its hind legs bounding across the street like its ass was on fire.

The cat in the video had the right idea.

I’m Batman

And lo, at about 11 o’clock at night, a cry was heard throughout the house.

My youngest son, downstairs, shrieking for my wife.

Meg was in a dead sleep when Dan’s blood-curdling screams echoed through the house.

A fire? A burglar? An injury?

Worse: A bat had somehow gotten into the house.

Dan was watching TV when he heard an odd noise that sounded like the heat coming on. But it was a rapid-fire clicking noise, like the baseboard heat was working overtime.

He put the light on and then he saw it:

Swooping and clicking, the bat made its presence known. And then so did Dan.


I got the call around 11:20 p.m. on my way back from work.

It left me very upset. Here I was, at least another hour away from home, unable to do anything to help as the “man” of the household.

Plus, to be honest, I’m afraid of bats and I did not want to admit that over the phone, fearing it would only make a bad situation worse.

I’ve had experiences with mice in the house. A bit unnerving, but not that big a deal.

And one time, living in New York, my late fiancée and I had a squirrel infiltrate our house. This led to a lifelong antipathy toward squirrels that fueled many practical jokes.


We even had a bear stalk our driveway a few years ago.

Bear sighting 003

Bear sighting 004

But a bat? In the damn house? No, this was new.

Before I got home, Meg had called public safety and not one, but TWO, officers arrived.

And don’t you know that when they got there, there was no sign of the bat, which I had named “Buddy”?

For five full days, there was no sign of Buddy. We figured he had flown the coop, so to speak. (For the record, we are still not entirely sure how he got in.)

We thought we were in the clear, until…

Well, I’ll let Meg’s email take it from here:

Dan spotted a spider, which he was figuring out how to do away with when he looked toward the exercise bicycle and there, hanging on the pleated curtain, was Buddy.

He called me — not the bloodcurdling shriek of a few days ago — but enough to let me know that our friend had returned. I said, “What should we do?”

“Call public safety,” he said.

I did and then crept downstairs, towel in hand.

We waited maybe five minutes for public safety — it was the same guy who had been here before.

But this guy didn’t have the tennis racket. So all three of us waited for the other guy who did.

While we were waiting, I saw movement.

ICK. And then it spread its wings.

DAMN. It was a bigger than I thought. Wing span of maybe 10 inches, tip to tip.

And, of course, it launched. Dan screamed and we both bee-lined for the front door, leaving public safety man to do his thing.

A few moments later, he came out with the very same towel I had brought downstairs, and let the bat go, and the bat, of course, headed straight for us. We moved, pronto, out of its way.

Public safety guy just laughed.

So, Buddy is gone.

Or is he? Dan said that he thought the bat he had seen was much smaller….

So maybe this was Buddy’s mama, and we’re still hosting little Bud.

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