Last year we had a brazen black squirrel living in our neighbourhood. He would come right up onto the kitchen window sill and mock us. Then he would run around to the patio doors to sneer and taunt the cats who would of course go nuts to chase after him. He was a very large squirrel and I fear that if one of the cats got out they wouldn't have a chance in a battle against this fellow and there would be a battle for sure.
Well Thurs. afternoon I sat down with my lap top to work in the family room but there was a scratching noise coming from the fireplace insert. At first I wasn't sure I was hearing correctly as the noise was intermittent. I called Bob to come and tell me I wasn't hearing things. But he heard it too.
There was something in there alright but we didn't dare open the door to look. Bob lit a piece of paper and shoved it through a crack in the door to try and smoke it back up the chimney. For a few minutes smoke spewed out all around the doors so that we had to run to open the patio doors to get an updraft going. We were the ones getting smoked out!
All was quiet for hours and I felt so guilty for killing whatever it was. I just had to hope the bird or animal had found its way out. Not so. Later that night I started to hear tiny noises again and I knew whatever was in there was not dead - yet. But I was alone at this point and didn't dare open the doors.
Next morning all was quiet at first but then noises started again - this time it sounded like the animal mewing! Oh no, what if it was a cat! Bob donned heavy leather gloves and I manned the flashlight. Ever so slowly he cracked open the first door to see a long black tail. My heart sank. Whatever it was started to move - it must have been terrified. Bob reached in and oh how the ashes flew!! When he managed to get a firm hold on this squirming piece of fur I ran to open the patio doors with Bob and the mystery animal close behind. He gently laid it on the deck and to our shock it was that black squirrel, now all grey from the ashes. The squirrel lost no time and didn't seem the least bit injured as he dashed over the deck, across the lawn and up the neighbour's pine tree!
It was when Bob took off his gloves he found he had been bitten and was bleeding quite badly. So we cleaned up and bandaged his hand. He drove to the doctor's to get a tetanus shot and was put on antibiotics! Mind you they had such a good laugh at the clinic over Bob's story. One if the receptionists told him about her grandfather having a similar experience but he got up on the roof with his shotgun and tried to kill the invader. She said "When the police arrived and heard the story they shook their heads - what else would you expect of an old Italian?"
We haven't seen our furry invader since, thank goodness, but the mystery remains - how did he get in as the chimney screen seem to be in tact. Further investigation will ensue when the weather permits. Hopefully squirrels have good memories and this one won't be back - no matter how he got in!
On a cheerier note it is only two more weeks until daylight savings and thee weeks till the official arrival of spring. This long hard winter is going to come to an end soon. Rejoice!! It is time to start some smocked sugar-free Easter eggs just like these!
So until next time, keep stitching!