I’m Giving Up, I’m Giving In, When a Chipmunk Takes Over the House
E2T 90 Day Letting Go Experiment Days 10 & 11
Summer is finally here in New England. My early mornings are spent in my backyard, on my swing, a cup of coffee in my hand as I listen to the birds chirping and the breeze blowing through the trees. My garden is lush and blooming with roses and purple and blue flowers. The Rhododendrons are popping. It’s all perfect.
Then I see my cat running into the house, her sister following close behind. They’re very adept at opening the screen door quickly, and I have a sinking feeling as I hear it squeak open.
Yesterday, my black cat, who likes to hunt, but not kill, brought me two baby bunnies. She made a nest for them in garden, and tried to make them her own. When they didn’t seem to like the idea, she went and brought momma bunny to join them.
If you think this is weird cat behavior, I would agree. There was the time she brought home a baby mouse and the two of them played in the back yard for the day. When I tell this story, people wonder if I shouldn’t have my head examined, or maybe I’ve written too much fiction that real life now bores me.
All it takes is pulling out the video of my cat and her toy/live mouse to see how gentle she played with it.
She likes to carry birds, snakes, chipmunks, and bunnies home just like they were her kittens. It’s not the first time she’s brought a new “baby” home, so when I heard the rustling inside I knew what had happened.
A little baby chipmunk was in my living room. Being a good cat mom, I separated the cats from the little guy and figured I’d find a way to get him out. I assumed he’d be so frightened he’d stay put.
I was wrong.
I’m now living in the chipmunk’s domain. For two days, this little guy has been living in different areas of my house. At night he sings, a sweet chirping noise that goes right through my earplugs.
I’ve researched getting rid of a chipmunk. I was advised to put out sunflower seeds and peanut butter. I set up barricades all around the kitchen. I put out a few humane traps, and lined the path to the door with tiny spoons of peanut butter. Then I put on rubber gloves and boots and waited.
Nothing. Two days of my kitchen being booby trapped and the little bugger has stayed under the fridge, somehow managing to get the peanut butter spoon closer to the fridge so he can nibble whenever he wanted to throughout the night.
Today, I gave up after I tripped over the barricades and nearly knocked myself out on the kitchen table. As I’m working in my office, I hear the chirping in a new area. The chipmunk has made his way to the basement.
I jump up, grab the rubber gloves and the boots, the pot I’m going to put him in with the lid, and race downstairs. My cat, is now sitting on top of a few boxes waiting for her baby to come out. She’s very excited by the fact that it’s no longer hiding. I move the box and the chipmunk bolts. Now I’m chasing it and my cat is chasing it. I look like an idiot racing around with my pot, my scooper, in my rubber gloves, with my rubber winter boots on in the middle of summer.
We have it corned, and I grab my cat to stop her from getting involved. The baby is shaking, and remaining still. Finally, I can save it and bring it back to the woods. I turn for one second, to make certain my cat won’t get involved, and the little thing bolts up the stairs and under the television stand.
Meanwhile as I’m chasing it I trip in my big boots on the stairs, the pot goes flying, my cat is terrified, and the chipmunk takes this moment to go flying through the house and once again under the fridge, and somehow got the peanut butter spoon on his way.
Okay Universe/ God, when I said that I’d say yes to everything in these next 90 Days and wouldn’t judge, did you think maybe you’d get a good little laugh at me as I accepted that I have a new baby chipmunk living under my refrigerator? Fine I’ll call him, Mikey.
If you have ideas on how to humanely have a chipmunk leave the house, I’d love to hear it. I’ve called Pest Control and they only kill. This little guy seems too intelligent for traps, and my cats just want to keep it. I’ll take any good advice that gets it back to the wild.