Warning: This post involves scatalogical issues, blood and gore and general heartlessness on my part. It might be unsuitable for some audiences. On the other hand, the very thought of blood and gore might reel you right in. Feel free to proceed. Or not.
When you climb the stairs to the main floor of the cottage and the first thing you see is squirrel poop all over the floor, you know it's going to be a pain in the ass weekend.
Because poop on the floor entails poop on the counters, on the table, in the bed. Pretty much everywhere you don't want poop to reside. Poop in prodigious, mind boggling quantities, poop beyond your wildest dreams - if, of course, you're into scatalogical dreams.
And if you are? I really don't want to know.
At least he didn't get into the food.
All this poop obviously entails much vacuuming, stripping of beds, washing down/bleaching of countertops, tables, etc. And of course, possible ruining of jeans with said bleach. Jocelyn (I believe) once offered this nugget of wisdom: "Bleach Naked", which is all well and nice in certain circumstances, but when it's deep winter and about 3 degrees above freezing in the house, overall not the most user friendly idea evah.
Indeed, naked and frigid are concepts that do not sit well with me when placed side by side, or one surrounding the other as it were. Hell, frigid is a concept that doesn't sit well with me, period.
But I digress. Always I digress. What's with the digressifying.... CONCENTRATE Jazz!!! I blame menobrain. Yep, I do. Um. So...
All this poop obviously means a squirrel got into the house - a little red one like this dude, they grey ones are either too big or to stupid to find their way in. I actually quite like them, they're redheads and they have major attitude. But they shit entirely too much. How can a 200 gram rodent fabricate that much poo? Did I mention there was poo all over the place? Felt like it was pretty much carpeted in excrement. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating.
But just a little. The cottage was definitely poopy.
So yeah, they're cute, they're smartasses, and I really like them. Except when they find their way into the house, which happens every couple of years. They try to make you believe they just happened to wander in through some crack somewhere and needed to relieve themselves. Be that as it may, in such a case, in the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, "Of course you realize, this means war".
A war to the death. Yours not mine Red. I'm bigger, I'm smarter and most of all, I'm meaner.
I hauled out the rat trap** that hadn't seen action for a couple of years (last time Red - probably this guy's great grandfather - tripped the trap, got the peanut and vanished, leaving behind only a whisker or two. He was a smart one who deserved to live), baited it with a peanut and wandered back upstairs for a well deserved and very stiff drink - all that vacuuming, bleaching, changing of bed linens and baiting of traps that I tend to trip myself and squwoosh my finger in, on a Friday evening is utterly exhausting.
Knowing that the little buggers are diurnal, I figured we'd be ok until the next day.
Until breakfast when I heard the fatal crack (of course he couldn't have waited until after breakfast, no he had to ruin my appetite).
And so, downstairs I went, grabbing a pair of gardening gloves along the way. Poor thing hadn't even gotten the peanut. He lay there convulsing on the floor, blood spreading beneath him.
It was totally a Sopranos moment, it was. Totally.
So I picked him up gently and wrung his pretty red neck - amazing how hard that is considering his tiny size. You'd think it'd snap like a twig, but nope, more like a somewhat bigger branch. Aaaanyway.
Then I threw him outside, where, within a half hour, a crow made off with the corpse. I'm a big fan of recycling I am. To quote Bugs again: "Ain't I a stinker!".
Then I promptly collapsed into Mr. Jazz's arms shaking like a leaf. Why I didn't just back off and tell him, "Dude, you're the guy, you do it", I'll never know. It was one of those moments where you know what has to be done so you just do it without thinking. Easily actually. It's so very very bizarre.
So, after a mouse and a squirrel, I guess next on the list is a cat. They say serial killers tend to graduate this way to larger and larger animals... Food for thought.
** Yes one of those evil kill traps. Cause if the thing gets in and we don't catch it before the weekend is over, there's no point in having a live trap since it'll simply slowly die of thirst or hunger over the week. Quick and neat is the way to go. And believe me, there are enough of them out there that one less won't make much of a difference. The Darwin Awards principle at work - if it's stupid enough to get caught it deserves to die. Viz, great granddad who I was most definitely pulling for, though he probably ended up eaten by a cat. Or Bugs Bunny.