Uninvited Houseguests

Before you make flawed assumptions about me, I want you to understand that I’m not squeamish, particularly when it comes to animals. I adore all kinds of critters, more than I like most people.

During lambing season I’ve had my hand so far up the backside of a sheep that I should have bought her dinner first. I’ve slept on the floor of the barn – in the stall – with a cow expecting a calf and have likely been covered by more blood and placenta than my obgyn has. I’ll pick up bugs, garter snakes and worms, all without gloves. When hiking I stop to meet people’s dogs, but simply smile hello and pass the pet-less people by. I always help turtles across the road and I relocate any hapless spider or June bug outside before my coworkers can squish them.  I’m that girl.

The other day I came home and found a chipmunk in my living room. While I did nothing about the mouse that I cohabitated with over the winter, chipmunks are notoriously the bad seed of the rodent community. They chew wires, make nests in problematic places, and essentially cause mayhem when uninvited houseguests. Unfortunately, the little bugger zipped behind the stove and made himself scarce since.

Fast forward to last night; I have a lot of long, thick hair. I usually wash it in the evening because it takes an eternity to dry. I drew back the shower curtain, and this is what I discovered.


I had a swift, agile, and exceedingly agitated tamias stratus leaping and scurrying around my bathtub, unable to claw his way up the sheer sides. It turned out to be an excellent internment technique, but I suddenly had horrific visions of me being mauled while attempting the extraction. (No laughing, all rodents have wicked sharp little teeth!) Remember that conversation about assumed gender roles? Well, there was no husband, no boyfriend on speed dial to come remove the little striped bandit for me.

Reluctantly armed with a bucket and an oven mit, I defended my sovereign girl-space from the home invader and reintroduced him to the great outdoors. Once I had him in my mitted grasp (read: no longer capable of biting me or hurdling around unpredictably) he was actually quite sweet.

For the record, one frightened, 3 ounce chippy can poop quite a bit. I suppose it was a good excuse to really scour the bathtub…

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