The Squirrel saga

One cold autumn day

a few years ago

while working a sale

in a big factory building:

A baby squirrel wandered down the long dark hallway, shivering, into the light of our space and whimpered “Help me” in squirrel speak. Our eight eyes stared back in shock. It came right up to us.  I bent down cautiously and it let me touch!  It started to try to climb up our legs to get warm. We squealed, giggled and jumped around with a mix of apprehension and delight but we knew we had to get the creature outside again. Luring it into a paper bag with ease, we took it out to the alley and let it loose but it wouldn’t leave  and started to scramble up our legs again. It was kind of heartbreaking and we didn’t know what to do.  Then, a sympathetic woman watching from her yard, offered to make a little nest with a box and newspaper. We gave it a granola bar and reluctantly went back inside.

I left for the day but a little while later got a call that the squirrel had come back into the building crying at the feet of Marcel. He decided to take it home and made a cozy nest with his winter hat for the critter. He called it something like “Nurgh” which he said was the sound it made incessantly . We got lots of emails with pictures to document bringing up baby squirrel.  Marcel fostered Nurgh into teenage squirrel years until one day it heard the call of the wild and disappeared.

Before this happened I had never seen a baby squirrel.  I suppose they are protected by mom in the nest and out of sight until ready to take on the cold world. I was really charmed by the whole thing and felt a special affection towards squirrels for a long time until last week when one decided to set up house in the wall of my kitchen: “Scratch, scratch,scrape, scrape, chew, chew, etc. etc. All this ruckus surely in preparation for babies. Then there was the grim potential of electrical wires chewed resulting in sparks and flames. Suddenly, not so charming to have a litter of fury tailed rodents burning down my house! Off with their heads!  Just kidding but really, this is NOT the Unmet Friend.

After a few days of various techniques of squirrel repelling comprised of : WD40, cayenne pepper, leaving nuts as bait while dusting the roof with flour to see what kind of paw prints and in what direction they cometh, and finally a compressor that shoots a blast of scary air into a hole in the wall. Today, there is silence. No crunch and munch. Yay!  Despite the annoyance, I  enjoyed hanging out on my roof this week.  It’s a glorious top of the world experience and I’m  even planning a Sangria party up there with my roommate sometime this summer.


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