Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nature is coming to kill you.

That's right. Nature is coming to kill you. In the past two days, we have twice been assaulted by the so-called "Forces of Nature." Up until now, I always thought that expression referred to tornadoes and earthquakes. Now I know better. It means, Nature's Army. If you live in an exotic land, Nature might send a jackal or an asp to do its dirty work (or a giraffe, or, if Nature is feeling really silly, maybe a vampire butterfly). If you live in Portland, Oregon, the soldiers of Nature look something like this:
And look, there is even a Ninja division:

So, here's what happened. First, Thursday night, raccoons tried to infiltrate the house to kill us. That is the only reason I can think of. Or, they were just tap-dancing on the roof. Maybe they parachuted from helicopters and landed on the roof and then started tap-dancing. I don't know. All I know is they were really, really loud and, ultimately unsuccessful in their murderous mission. Ha ha!

And then this morning, while I was home alone, (queue Twilight Zone music) I heard something. . . in the ceiling. A LOUD something. In the ceiling between the first and second stories. Or, in the heating ducts. I guess it had to be in the heating ducts because. . . it came OUT one of the vents, into the living room. A Ninja squirrel. It climbed the drapes, it climbed a tall potted plant. It was looking for where we stash our jewels, I think, or our microchips of government secrets, all of which I courageously kept safe by swallowing them. The Ninja eventually ran out the front door. Sayonara, killer.

We beat Nature's Army. For now. I'm afraid that this was only an advance force. What's next? Wouldn't it be cool if coyotes came all the way from the hills? Or foxes? How creepy would it be if we looked out the windows at night and the house was completely surrounded by like six hundred foxes? I wish that would happen. I really do.

Oh, there was one other incident that happened that Jim wants me to tell you about. Another Nature sneak attack. Yesterday, when he was coming inside, a droplet of water dripped off the edge of the patio and flung itself right down the back of Jim's collar. Like a little kamikaze! Right down his neck. The aim that was involved. The rigorous training these troops go through! It leaves me in awe.

So, about squirrels. Some are cute:
Others are. . . less so.

And what's cuter than this?
How about when it's dead and wrapped around a kid's head, like so:
I just adore a child in fur, don't you?
Actually, I think anyone who wants to wear fur should have to capture, kill, dress, and sew it themselves. Yes? And, if you wear fur, no complaining if a tiger or six hundred foxes come for you.

Lock your doors. Seal your ductwork. They're here. And they're crafty.


Anonymous said...

My folks once had a squirrel get into their house. It ran into their bedroom...and then UP MY STEPMOTHER'S BACK! ACK! Just THINKING about that gives me the willies. Fortunately, no damage done...other than major psyche trauma. We have loads of squirrels in our neighborhood. People always say, "Aren't they cute!" Well, yes...and NO. ;)

Jim Di Bartolo said...

I fear the next wave of attacks from the squirrels. We've all heard of Navy Seals, well, get ready for...the Navy Squirrels.

Don't worry though Sweetie, I'll protect you! ;)


Anonymous said...

This is too funny!

I read this to Camille and she wants to bring her butterfly net over, camp out under your tall sofa and try to catch them..she is a good squirrel catcher! :)

She is begging to drive to your house now! :)

So keep her in mind on your next attack!


Silvia said...

i'm with jennifer, this is too funny. well at least for us readers ;)

when i stayed at a wild park in south africa we had a gnu as a house guest once. and in the early hours of the morning giraffes and zebra's where having breakfast right outside our door! they all came in peace though...

Heather said...

Ha! In our old house we kept hearing loud scratching and chewing sounds at night while we were in bed. We assumed it was the scourge of mice we were enduring and that maybe they had mutated into squirrels or something. Turns out it was a raccoon diligently tearing the asphalt shingles off the side of our house (yeah, the previous owners actually used roofing shingles for SIDING!) and he came back during the day once to finish the job - that's how we caught sight of him! Hubby chased him off by waving something heavy at him and acting generally threatening.

blessedmatch said...

At camp in California, I remember feeding the raccoons from our hands. Looking back, probably not the smartest thing to do, but they had the softest pads on their hands. It was awesome.

Alex S said...

Davesap has no memory of this but he has a brilliant little sister who used to let out her hamster, Hilda, in the wee hours of the night to traipse about her brother's bedroom while he slept, and often times, Hilda would nap right on his shut eyelids. It was so, so sweet. For Hanukkah this year Davesap is being given a very special present made of raccoon paws and possum claws.

Susan Tuttle said...

Oh my, what critters! We once had a mini flying squirrel in our attic--amazing what damage those little creatures can do. Caught the little bugger in a have-a-heart trap--think it was the peanut butter sandwich laced with M&M's that did it--lol!

Wonderful blog!


Wendell said...

Once a squirrel ran up the stairs into my apartment and pooped on my bed! Then we chased it out.

Amber said...

Thank you Laini. This gave me a good laugh this morning! Ha Ha Ha.

We had a family of racoons that used to visit our back porch, and try to turn our kitty against us. We could totally tell they were talking smack. But she's a good cat, and was having none of it.


liz elayne lamoreux said...

i am laughing out loud. this cracks me up. i am glad you all are safe!

i have to admit to searching for racoon photos in flickr yesterday. someone sent me a photo of three in an email, and i just started thinking about how cute they are. they really are some of the cutest animals out there. but beware, they always travel in packs it seems...

oh and on another animal funny note - maybe you already know this laini, but jon let me know that a group of rhinos is called a crash. a crash of rhinos. i think that is simply fantastic.

happy monday!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Whoa that is funny!

We had to capture 3 of these
and released them in another neighborhood far, far away. (hopefully not in yours) But before you say he's cute, take a closer look
I wouldn't want to meet one in the dark. Ugh!

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

You absolutely slay me, Laini! I read this and was quickly in hysterics!!

Anonymous said...

Well, we're in California, but let me tell you, when the phone line stops working, look for mouse teeth on the wires!

Is that a black raccoon? I've never seen one before! Or, my son's theory, one of the others pushed that one in the river, and he's just wet?

Karen and Piper said...

It's 4:13 AM and I'm trying very hard to keep the hysterical giggles contained *and* not wake my hubby by shaking the bed. If my brains shoot out my nose, it's all your fault! :)

~Molly~ said...

OMG, love the girls in fur coats! Where I live, in our neighborhood anyway, we don't have many raccoons because the coyotes keep their population down. We do have tons of rats though! Nasty, wood rats that are as big as your foot. They infiltrate the house during the cooler months and have babies. There is no getting rid of them, they've been doing this for 30 years(when my dad built our house). We didn't see a squirrel in our neighborhood until about 7-8 years ago when they started doing lots of new building(subdivisions). Now we have them by the hundreds, thankfully they don't like inside very well. We did have one fall out of a tree onto our trampoline though. I had to rescue it from our border collie so now there is a little piece of its tail in our cabinet of curiosities. Occasionally we'll see a fox, deer, possum or skunk. In our town there are really bad things in the local parks and even on school playgrounds(not like the kids ever go there though). We have WILD HOGS!!! Talk about scary!! I'm rethinking my plans to walk at the park later today.


Anonymous said...

I immediately whipped out my Medicine cards after reading this to see what Secret Message Squirrel is bringing to you this day...Squirrel says - Use time & energy properly, waste nothing on negativity, gather the rewards of stewardship...huh ? Stewardship ? I hate big words ! Walks to shelf, pulls down dictionary - stewardship - the office, duties and obligations of a steward (sigh )..Steward - one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns, one who actively directs affairs, a manager. Whew ! A lot of information from one brief squirrel encounter,you and only you will know what any of this means, mind boggling , yes ? I also have to say, Im 100 % behind you with the Fur issue...Go Laini !

Catalina said...

You are amazing! Love everything you write!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! What is going on in the animal kingdom lately? We just saw a squirrel using - DRINKING from a drinking fountain at the park the other day! I'm glad the hundredth monkey principle with this skill hasn't made it's way through the squirrel species so far - then he might have decided to turn on your kitchen sink instead of just going out the door...
How weird, that must have been scary in the middle of the night, though - glad he went fairly peacefully back out into the night.

Sustenance Scout said...

Laini, you crack me up! Hope you're having a fantastic, fur-free Thanksgiving! K.