Tornado Homecoming

A few days ago we arrived home from a one month stay at our retreat in Washington State. It was a challenge to get up our winding driveway, which had gone unplowed through several snowfalls. But we had quite a surprise waiting for us when we finally got in our door. There had been a tornado in our house, a whole party of ripping, burying, turding, and eating. In short, the turd tornado of a very busy squirrel had changed our home into one large nest.

Papers were strewn everywhere, turds covered every surface – not polite little mouse turds – oh, no – these were nickle size piles. What happened – did this critter get into some ex lax? Food from an open pantry not only lay about – it was tucked into all cushions, nooks, and crannies, as well as firmly buried in the convenient turf of our carpet. Obviously the odor was not good.

Our mouser cat went on high alert when she came in to this disaster, searched high and low, but found no intruder. We have no idea how the squirrel got in, or where it went.

We had to clean our duvet before we could take our road weary bones to bed. And Deemster, my husband, would keep the vacuum cleaner in hand for the next several days.

This is what it means to live among nature. Those critters view our nice warm house as a very juicy addition to their freezing environment. We have had mice and chipmunks for years – lately cleard out by our vigilant kitty. We get a pretty good idea of her catch profile, because she usually leaves us the back end of her catches. Picky eater, I guess. But even she was flummoxed by a very fearless opposum who made its way through our cat door one night. We were all awakened by a ruckuss in the dining room. All 3 cats stood by as this creature helped itself to their cat food bowls.

I am guessing the squirrel came through this very same cat door – but it still doesn’t exlain where it went, and why it left such a winter paradise – must have felt like a Bahamas vacation.

I have a live and let live attitude toward all this – even this rather massive tornado turd mess. After all, we built our house right in the middle of their forest, right beside their lake. Where did we expect them to go? It was never our intention to move them all out, including the deer who so appreciate any nursery items we might plant, or the woodchuck who nips off any fresh buds she can get her hands on, to feed her annual production of little ones. The woodchuck and wild turkeys enjoy sunning on our deck or pounding on our mirrored windows, and we get a lot of enjoyment from their antics. In fact all the varied wildlife delights us.

So, the house smells better, but the carpet, already on its last legs, is now ruined completely. So, our busy squirrel has forced us to get off our butts and get to the flooring store to refresh everything – as needed to be done anyway. So, off to the store tomorrow. I don’t relish the work it will take – moving everything, etc. But it is really just another adventure. And we will keep that cat door locked from now on. Our mouser has grown chunky in the midsection, anyway, and really can’t force her body through it anymore.

As for nature – once again we are reminded that the idea of humans having dominion over the rest of nature is extreme hubris. Even the smallest of nature can create big trouble.