Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chipper the Vagabond

The other night my daughter was watching TV in the family room when she screamed "Dad! There's something in our fireplace!" Sure enough behind the glass doors was a cute little chipmunk, attempting to climb up the chain cinder guard.

The poor thing. He was dirty and scared and hungry too.

We really didn't know how long he had been in there since we don't use the family room all that often during the "nice" season, so we slipped him an apple and a small dish of water. Within seconds he rushed to the blessed fruit, grabbed on with his little paws and gnawed it down to the skin. It was sad and sweet at the same time.

But then it dawned on us...

Holy crap! Now what?

I wasn't about to try to catch it. With my luck the instant I opened the door the "cute" little critter would charge right at me, bite my finger, give me rabies and run out onto our white carpet leaving little sooty pawprints all over the place until he found his way into our ductwork and haunted us forever.

No really, that is my luck for sure. So I definitely needed another plan.

Well... where would you go if you needed an answer about something like this? Why the internet of course. A few clicks later I had found my solution.

"Drop a heavy rope into the fireplace and secure the other end so the rope stays taut. The chipmunk will see the light and climb the rope to get to it."

So that I did. And whattayaknow? IT WORKS! I came home from work the next day and the little critter was gone.

"Good luck little Chipper!" we all thought, because by that point my daughter had named it and adopted it and wanted to keep it forever. Not.

"And stay away from dark chimney flues!"

Of course since I didn't immediately take the rope out of the chimney, a family of spelunking raccoons have moved in in the meantime - but they're welcome to stay the night if they want.

But they have to be out by morning or I'm charging them another night's rent!


Mooselet said...

Aren't you a nice guy. Not only did you find another plan, but you climbed onto the roof to do it. As for the racoons, just leave an easily opened garbage can nearby and they'll leave quicker than you can blink.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I'd better put that rumor to bed before it escalates... we don't really have raccoons. I was just being cute. We really have a family of small grizzly bears in there. It's really quite amazing.

Anonymous said...

No, WE have the racoons. At least 6 of them use our backyard as a highway to god only knows. The biggest one must weigh 400 pounds. They have been on a rampage lately killing cats and small dogs, they are nasty little buggers.

Dave2 said...

Chipmunks I can live with... it's the WASPS that scare me!

Heather said...

Critters in the house must be going around this time of year. We have bees (not wasps) that we have yet to figure out how they are getting in. Not fun.

I told Craig that you're probably weirder than your blog...that's what you wanted me to say, right?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

carla - 400lbs! Is that for real or are you just trying to be "cute" too? 'Cause that ain't cute.

dave - Yes Dave I remember your WASP horror saga well from here , here , here , and here . It was a very dark time at

heather - Yeah, something like that. The folks at his office know I'm weird already - so nothing I write here should surprise him at all!

Bugwit said...

I used to ride a tame raccoon to work!

Jennine said...

If for some reason I'm ever stuck in someone's fireplace and they let down a rope for me to climb up and out...I'm pretty much dead. Hopefully they'll have the good sense to slip me a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and not some dumb apple.

yellojkt said...

I say you should hav just kept him in the fireplace all winter as a pet. Feed him apples and water and invite the neighbors over.

Suburban Turmoil said...

Great solution. I would've wasted a hundred dollars on Critter Control.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the spelunking racoons. I did a quick search and the only way to get rid of them is to dig a ditch through your family room and run water in it so that they think they are following a stream out of the cave.

Good luck.

Jenn said...

Oh, fess up, it isn't bears..just an elephant.

GREAT idea for getting them out.

Waya said...

Yeah right cute little critters my you know what!! They've been visiting us in the wall above our bed, and the only time they come out for a visit (with their constant scratching) is at NIGHT!! While we try to sleep. And there is no way we can try (your method) of getting them out b/c they're stuck in the attic somehow.

Glad it worked out for you though!!

BTW, I loved your comment on my last post and like Heather (Coolzebra) said, I was all flustered about the mention of the handcuffs and delted a post by mistake. I know, what was I doing w/reading blogs on my mini getaway? Well, got to do something while waiting for the hubbie to wake up from his sleep!