July 13th, 2007, 5:21 pm PDT by Kat

For the past week I have been at war with a squirrel. I’m pretty sure it’s only one squirrel, but really, for all I know, it could be a small army of them.

Last weekend I went into our aviary and saw that my squirrel nemesis had chewed its way through one of the screen doors into the inner hallway of the aviary. This is where we keep the food, and the trash can, and the logbook. The doors of the flight cages also face into the hallway. The squirrel had also chewed through the lid of the food bucket and ate some of the pellets that we feed the birds. Luckily the doors to the flight cages are made out of sturdy hardware cloth (like nice chicken wire), so it couldn’t get into the actual bird cages. So, I took some of the extra hardware cloth leftover from the building of my funnel traps and patched the hole in the screen door.

I should have known that wasn’t going to work. The next day the squirrel just chewed away the section of the screen door directly adjacent to my patch-job. On day 2 of the war I took all of the hardware cloth that we had and reinforced the door again. Unfortunately there was only enough to cover about 6 feet up the 7.5-8 foot door. However, this did seem to deter the little bugger from chewing through that door. What did it do? It went to the other door and chewed through that one! But, I was smart. On day 1 of the war I had moved the food bucket into the lab. Take that squirrel! So instead, my nemesis chewed the rim of the garbage can, but didn’t get all of the way in. HAH! Luckily we had enough hardware cloth to patch the small hole in the second door.

The next day I come in to find another hole. This time it’s right above the top of the 6 feet of hardware cloth on the original door. GAH!!!!!!! Once inside, the squirrel chewed a hole in the bottom of the garbage can, giving it access to pellets that we had thrown into the garbage. Damn that wily squirrel! We’ve had a lot of rain and heat, and since the can is outside, the garbage in it is pretty nasty. I hope it got a stomach ache!

So, I bought more hardware cloth. A LOT of it! All day yesterday, in the stifling heat and humidity, I reinforced both doors. They’re both totally covered now. I also had to wrestle the nasty, wet, hole-riddled garbage bag out of the can and into the dumpster. Let me just tell you, it was NOT pretty. I reeked of old bird garbage and had all sorts of scratches on my arms and hands from where the excess hardware cloth and pine branches poked out of the bag. Needless to say, I HATE this squirrel.

Today, I go in specifically to check on the squirrel-status of the aviary — and to have lunch with Lisa :). That’s when I saw it. The squirrel was sitting on top of the cages in the outer part of the aviary (that’s fine, that part’s open). I scared it away and went to check on the inner doors, and that’s when I saw this. The damn thing totally ripped up the rest of the door! But, because of my hardware cloth, it wasn’t able to get into the hallway. Take that Mr. Wily Squirrel! You lose, and I win! HAH!

I don’t really understand why he’s still trying to get in there – there’s nothing in there now, and you can clearly see that from the outside. The food bucket is in the lab, and the garbage can is sitting open and empty in the outer hallway of the aviary where the squirrel has free access to it to see that it’s empty. Meh.

I just checked “Science” for this post. Yes, apparently I’ve spent countless years to get my PhD in Animal Physiology to enable me to wage war against a squirrel. If that’s not a terrible life choice, I don’t know what is!

Whatever… %$#&. At least I won.

Update from Greg: If anybody missed the Simpsons reference in that last sentence: “they just make a terrible life choice“.

2 Responses to “Vindicated!”

  1. Eugene Says:

    Step 1: Airsoft rifle/paintball gun.
    Step 2: Ammo.
    Step 3: Make like Scarface on the little waste of fur. Be sure to use the line “Say hello to my lil’ friend!” in a bad Italian accent.
    Step 4: Profit. In as much as a grad student can.

  2. Jay Says:

    Great account Greg!!
    Found myself locked on to find out what hjappened
    Squirrels are determined but you seem to have found an extraordinary speciman

    Good writing skills – ever thought of becoming an author?