Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Living With Creatures In Our Attic

This entire winter, we've lived with some animals or creatures in our attic. It's not as if they were paying us, it was more like free loader stuff, the kind that America's president actively promotes. In fact, theses creatures have had more fun this winter than we have had. I've heard all kinds of sounds, of pleasure, I should say: rolling, jumping, pitter patter, running, falling and even scratching. I can only imagine some heavy rollers being used to ride on, perhaps some swings may have been attached to the walls of the attic or maybe a hot bath or two were in the offing.  Maybe the creatures were even smoking cigarettes after a good bout of pleasure! Who knows what was up with all these strange sounds that were clearly beyond the grasp of mere mortals trying to live their own lives!

I did what I was forced to do, by my husband, called the Village of Skokie. Yes, it's called the Village because as most other things in America, Americans like to do things the 'other' way. In fact, it's a suburb but also manages to house loads of trees, birds, animals and wildlife like deer, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks and others. Questions from the Village were asked: what kind of sounds, at what time were the sounds, where exactly were the sounds coming from? By the time I answered all the questions, I had become discombobulated and wondered if I imagined the sounds! Nonetheless, remedies were offered: go up in the attic, dip rags in ammonia, wrap moth balls in sheer stockings and throw them in the attic. My husband quickly ruled himself out of going in the attic, I shuddered at the thought and our two boys quickly ran away to the gym.

An important question remained: how on earth did these creatures get in our attic? My husband thought the creatures had used trees to hop, skip and jump on the roof. But how did they get in through the roof? As the temperatures have been quite frigid this winter, we were loathe to go outside and up on the roof to check this. Even if we got ourselves to be brave, we would have likely become part of the snow spectacle as snowmen and snow women with real red noses instead of carrots. We were not going to allow ourselves to be part of senseless global warming teams heading to Antarctica to find some melting snow and getting stuck in their own experiments! A self damning experience to say the least! Anyway we rather have creatures sleep in our attic than freeze ourselves in sub zero temperatures in a sea of snow!

We decided that as these creatures were mainly active in the day, they were most likely squirrels. There was no money trail so we just had to go around the house many times to look for possible holes in walls, windows, doors etc. We looked up at the chimney to be a possible suspect but that was capped with mesh, so that was out. Anyway the chimney would be a long process even for squirrels. They would have to climb down the chimney braving all the hot air, avoid getting singed, get to the basement and when all was quiet, quickly run up the stairs, take a tour of the house and find the best way of getting up back to the attic! Even for squirrels, this seemed a waste of time. So the chimney option was quickly abandoned and left for Santa Claus to pursue. 

Finally we found the holes, rather saw them by chance after much staring and blinking at the house. There were two of them, approximately 5 inches in diameter in the front of the house, looking all lonely and scratched up. This is just like life I thought, seeing and not seeing! Anyway, we're going to leave the holes alone for the time, let the squirrels be till the thawing season comes around and then go after those holes with a vengeance. But first, we are going to make a racket through the attic door, maybe have the vacuum cleaner on for long minutes, throw ammonia soaked rags and nylon wrapped moth balls; perhaps have loud rap music full of curse words or even head busting metal rock; wait for the squirrels to depart from the attic, find their own house; then we are going to climb or lean against the vertical plane, get dizzy, experience some vertigo and finally fix those damn holes.

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