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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Squirrel Rescue

So.  The great (engineered) escape of the squirrel.  I don't know how or why the dumb thing climbed up the 4+ feet of glossy-slippery insulated stovepipe that extends above the 2-story roof of the house (also slippery thanks to the zinc shingles), but climb it he did.  And then tried committing harakiri (hary-cary) by taking a nose dive down it.  (Curiosity killed the . . . squirrel?)

What now, though?  Here was a squirrel, at the bottom of a stovepipe (see below), in a wood stove, in the house.  What to do?

As seen in the videos I posted, the cats weren't too interested in doing their job.  And, truth be told, I'd have felt a little bad for the guy (gal?) if he'd fallen down two stories in a 6" dark shaft only to be eaten rather ignominiously by a cat!  Beyond that, though, I didn't know what other options there were . . . than leaving the door open to the stove so that he could escape.  But then, I'd have a bigger problem:  a live squirrel in the house.

It finally dawned on me that I could try trapping the critter in a live trap.  Knowing s/he wouldn't move around much during the day while the dogs and cats would show too much interest at the open door (see Exhibit A below), I closed the stovepipe's damper and the front door, thereby "trapping" him in the stove for the afternoon.

Obviously, s/he suffered no hardships and simply curled up for a long winter's nap!  (When Lexie the dog had been here at Christmastime, her blanket was shedding, and I tossed all the wool leavings into the stove.  Little did I know that a squirrel would be happy as a clam to curl up and take a snooze in them!)

Can you spot the squirrel, snoozing away?!
When I went to bed last night, I baited a live trap with peanut butter (see Exhibit B below) and set the trap in the open door of the stove.  Then I went to bed.

Maisy complained and wanted to get up and go out at some un-gawdly hour, and when I let the dogs back in, Tucker showed a bit of interest in the trap.  I'd figured that the squirrel hadn't yet exited the stove / entered the trap 'cause I knew it would set off a series of frenzied yelps from the dogs.  But, when I went to shoo Tucker away from the peanut buttered trap . . . lo & behold, our little friend was already inside it!  In my sleepy state, I remembered to snap a picture for you, then I set the trap out the back door, opened it up, and watched the little guy scamper away.

I HOPE s/he's learned a lesson!  Dumb little adventurer.  ;)


  1. Nice job squirrel herder! What a cutie, too, glad he got to go back out into the world :) I was thinking if he was loose in the house you wouldn't get a bit of sleep for the dogs running all over the place having a grand old time!

  2. And how lucky he/she was to have climbed down YOUR stovepipe. If it would have been my neighbor's he would have shot it on the spot. It's no wonder that Scrappy the Dog pees in the house every time that neighbor is around. Nice job!

  3. Erin, as it was, the cats were absolutely NUTSO last night! They broke the upstairs bathroom door (I have NO idea how), and seemed to rip the bed's down comforter to shreds (haven't dared look at it yet). It was like they were teenagers out on a hopped-up bender!!

    Susan, ha ha - that did cross my mind for a split second . . . but how the hehl would you shoot ANYTHING in a stove!!! You'd either blow a hole in it or it would ricochet out and smack you in the forehead!

  4. You know, I think I'll add skunk whisperer (I once live trapped one and released it w/o it spraying) and squirrel herder to my blog bio! Right now! ;)

  5. haha, I always had a crazy wish to trap and release a skunk ever since I saw "Billy the Exterminator" do it on TV :) And they are chimpunks from here on out... I will notify the kids!


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