If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that we've been having an ongoing battle with the neighborhood squirrels, who like to make their way into our attic and keep us up at night.
We've tried hiring professionals to catch them and carry them off to another zip code. They've put traps on the roof, traps on the deck, and traps in the attic, but in the past four or five years, they've only managed to catch one squirrel. And he died anyway, because it was on Christmas day, and by the time they were able to come carry him off, he had succumbed to nature.
Last March LBeau decided to get serious about the squirrels and ordered some "real" traps from F&T Fur Harvesters. Designed for capturing mink and muskrats, LBeau thought they would be perfect for catching squirrels. They came in no time, but for months they sat in a box in the basement, and I was about to chalk them up to another one of those purchases that never gets used.
This fall, however, LBeau got out one of the traps and set it in a flower pot on the deck. He placed it close to the spot right outside our bedroom where I have on numerous occasions watched a squirrel take a flying leap from the deck, scurry up the brick beside the den window, scramble onto the light fixture, and leap onto the roof, all in the span of about five seconds.
A few days later, the trap was sprung, but we failed to catch a thing. Then one day LBeau came home from work and found the trap missing. After a quick search of the area below the deck, we found it in a flower bed. Something had obviously been caught but had managed to free itself. In fact, a closer look at the trap revealed a tiny toe caught between its jaws. At this point we decided we should probably nail the chain that's attached to the trap to the deck.
At 2:30 this morning, I was awakened by a commotion outside our bedroom. At first I thought it was probably a squirrel running around in the gutter, but I soon decided that the trap had finally captured its prey. Although I had to relocate to another bed to get back to sleep, I was comforted knowing we were about to be rid of the squirrel.
Not so fast. It seems that what we had really captured was a rather large raccoon.
When I went outside to take his picture before LBeau turned him loose, he took a flying leap, pulled the chain loose from the deck, and headed down the steps into the early morning darkness. Fortunately, the chain caught on the deck railing, and LBeau was able to set him free.
In the meantime, during his captivity he decided that my garden hose had something to do with his predicament, and he proceeded to chew it in half.
So we're back to square one with the squirrel. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.