By: Sarah Young
Let me tell you a story. We moved into our current house in October of 2018. We happened to purchase the house from the middle school band teacher who also had a child the same age and grade as my oldest child. Almost needless to say, I have seen the former owner multiple times since we moved in.
During one of our early interactions, they mentioned that they sometimes had squirrels in the ceilings. I thought nothing of it at the time since, you know, “out-of-sight, out-of-mind,” but that would soon change. It started with a scratching sound above the kitchen cupboards…then came the gnawing.
So. Much. Gnawing.
We found ourselves banging loudly on the section of wall above the cabinets just to get them to stop because it was much easier to ignore them when we couldn’t hear them!
One day, I started noticing a funny smell each time I walked past a certain wall on the other side of the house from the kitchen. I decided to investigate and realized the smell came from behind the baseboard in our front room. You would think we would have called pest control by this point, and that would have been smart, but we did not. Instead, I pulled off the baseboard myself half expecting something to jump out at me. I was met with a nice little nest of pink fiberglass insulation and one very deceased squirrel.
I figured our problem was solved…then his buddy moved in and the scratching and gnawing commenced once again.
I eventually discovered where the squirrel was getting in, so when I thought it was on the outside of the house, I secured the hole to prevent access. Then the problem got worse. Apparently, it turned out I trapped the squirrel inside the house. Not only were we hearing the scratching in the kitchen, but we now could also hear it crawling through the walls.
After banging on walls and putting a crack in our kitchen ceiling, I decided it was finally time to call pest control after nearly two years of dealing with the problem though it ended up turning into a longer than expected ordeal. Unfortunately, after two weeks, the first trap that was set did not catch anything. And then I found where the little bugger was actually getting in and out. The squirrel had put a huge hole in the side of our house – big enough to fit black walnuts through it!
I immediately contacted pest control again and within a day of the trap being set, we got the squirrel!
I tell this story for a reason. On the surface, those squirrels were nothing but a nuisance. The Law of Relativity tells us, however, that nothing is innately good or bad and only receives meaning when we assign meaning to it. The squirrels allowed me to recognize something inside me. There are pieces of myself that drive me crazy. Swirling thoughts and ideas that scratch and gnaw at my brain.
I find I feel like Hammy the squirrel from the movie “Over the Hedge” – ‘a hyperactive, sweet, red squirrel whose mouth moves as fast as his feet, he is innocent…, friendly, curious, and very childish in nature with an extremely short attention span.’
Check. Check. Annnnd Check!
Suddenly, I found myself relating to the squirrels in a deeper and more meaningful way. Not only that, but I received inspiration for a personal endeavor that I am excited to pursue.
I love those dang squirrels.
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