Not only did Momma Robin make her spring residence at our house, a squirrel found it's way through the mesh chimney cap, whipped up a huge ol' nest, and once in, couldn't find a way out.
And sometime this weekend, it expired.
When I got up this morning, there was definitely an aroma in the air I hadn't smelled the day before. What could it be? I had taken out the garbage the night before, so I cleaned out the garbage disposal. That didn't help. So I wandered the house, sniffing. And the minute I walked by the fireplace I knew what was goin' on. stinky dead animal smell.
So I opened all the windows and doors (thank god we had put the screens up last week). But that didn't really help much. And then my furnace came on, because it is so flippin' cold here today.
Mike was at ACES, I phoned and warned him of the project that awaited him upon his return home. eewwww. And he thought all he had to do today was yank cupboards off the walls!
He dutifully put the giant ladder up against the house, and made his precarious way to the top of the chimney. After removing the cap, he found the nest partway down the chimney. Realizing it would be easier to push it down, than try to pull it up, he found a good long pole and did just that.
Now all he had to do was position a box at the bottom, open the damper, and stinky dead animal would plop into the box and be disposed of. Because we have had to do this before, a few years ago, before we had caps on our chimneys. And there were two of them, perhaps an illicit tryst gone wrong. They smelled, they were removed, and life went on. Once the caps went on, we really thought this would not be a chore we would have to relive. Okay, Mike would have to relive. I just provide emotional support. This is when I am really glad I am not a feminist.
So since he was up there anyway, he reattached the chimney caps-there would be no more critters in OUR chimney!
He headed into the house, opened the damper, plop went the nest, and the deceased squirrel, and half of the leaves and such from our yard. And then he heard a noise. And got a mirror, and a flashlight, and found another squirrel in the chimney, very much alive.
He can't go up, because Mike did such a good job of sealing up the top. He won't come down, because he is terrified of this human peering up at him, and the cat meowing ferociously in the background.
He keeps making noises, like he would like to leave and perhaps romp through the yard. Which would be just fine with me. I don't like live animals trapped in parts of my house. (you notice I am assuming it is a male squirrel, a female would never get herself in such a situation. Or maybe she's the one that's already dead).
We have peanut butter for him at the bottom of the fireplace, right on the edge of the box he can just jump into, and then we will kindly pick him up and deposit him outside. Or he can refuse to leave, and starve to death, and I will have another death on my hands.
Imagine the troubles we would have if we actually lived in the COUNTRY.
A baby squirrel. Not just one of them, but THREE of them. And they are no longer pests, but adorable little creatures that I need to save. And the dead one was their mom. And I am nearly in tears, because I imagine that she nursed them, and had no strength to get out and get enough food to keep going, and died. And here we are taking their dead mom, and the only home they have ever known, away from them. Mike was able to get two of them out of the chimney, we put them in the yard underneath the porch of the abandoned house next to us. I shelled nuts for them to eat, shouldn't I leave them a bowl of milk? There is still one left, that Mike is trying to coax down. He is really affected by this too. When he brought them outside, they were so disoriented. They came right over to us, like they wanted us to do something. One of them tried climbing up Mike's leg. Of course Charlie has been there through all of this.
But what else could we do? If we leave them in the chimney, they will surely starve and die. At least outside they have a fighting chance, don't they? And I just read what I wrote earlier today, when this was all just a NUISANCE, and I had other things to do, and now I just feel so bad. Because I really sound like a jerk. And I guess when it's babies, that changes everything.
More to follow....