So, for the past couple days, we’ve been hearing scrabbling sounds in the wall near our washer and dryer in the kitchen of our big, old (more than a century) house. So, the wife and I have been concerned that mice, a rat, a chipmunk or a squirrel had somehow gotten up in there from the basement and was going to chew through our wires and cause our house to burn down at any moment.
We finally got someone to come out today, after we’d already determined it was in an old sealed chimney (sealed from the bottom, at least) and not in our wall. Dude looked down there, and reported back to us we had a mama squirrel and a litter of babies sucking at the teats.
Good news? They can’t get into the house. Bad news? We need to wait until the babies are grown enough to climb up and be caught in traps, so we get to hear the scrabbling noises for a couple more weeks.
So, I tell our little goddess what’s going on.
“There are squirrels in our chimney?” she asked as I finished telling her why someone had come over and why me and her mom had been concerned the past couple days.
“Yeah, honey. A mommy and her babies. But we can’t get rid of them for a couple weeks until they’re more grown, or they’ll die down there and it will stink inside the house.”
“So, they’re going to be here for a while?” she asks, and I begin to think maybe she’s getting nervous.
“Yeah, sweetie, but they can’t get in the house. They’re surrounded by brick and can’t get through that.”
Her eyes widen, and I’m concerned maybe I shouldn’t have said anything at all.
“Ohhhhhhhhhh,” she says, in a low, sing-song voice. “Baby squirrels! We have a squirrel family.”
Then I realize she’s excited by the idea of a rodent family nesting in our house.
In my head: They ain’t stayin’ my sweetheart. Oh, no. They aren’t pets. So don’t get attached.
But I can see it now. My daughter hovering near the kitchen, waiting for the scritchy-scratchy of little pest feet.