Helping a Mama in need…a story with a twist

It seems fitting that on this day that we honor mothers, that I share the tale about a mother I am helping out. Considering that I am in a helping profession, helping people in need is second nature to me but I must admit that my helping nature is challenged at times when it comes to non-humans.

A few days ago, I was standing in my kitchen at the sink as I am prone to do.  When I heard a sound, it was a little strange but when you live in a house built in the 1880s you learn that strange sounds can be rather normal. So I did what any lazy homeowner would do, I ignored it and figured if I heard it again, then I would mention it to the Man Unit.  Of course, I heard it again so the Man Unit goes off to investigate in the basement. His investigation turns up nothing, when suddenly the light bulb goes off that the wall in which we are hearing the strange sound is the one where the now defunct chimney that used to be hooked up to a fireplace is located. Uh oh.

For starters we live in a house with what is called a mansard style roof which in simple terms means I have a two tiered roof and on our house we have the larger roof and a smaller roof so running up on our roof to investigate is not an easy option. Long story short after many calls, we get a guy from a local pest company to come out. Ole Travis as I shall call him arrives and comes in our house to see if he can hear the sound.  It is at this point he realizes I wasn’t kidding when I explained on the phone that the old fireplace area has been sealed up completely so he heads to our roof to see if he can locate the source of the strange sound.

Drumroll please…after 15 minutes on the roof, Travis comes back to the front door to deliver the verdict. A mama gray squirrel has decided that our unused chimney would be a fabulous and safe den to deliver her baby squirrels and that sound we are hearing is Mama and babies nesting in my unused chimney.

Unused chimney and temporary home to the Gray family
Unused chimney and temporary home to the Gray family

This is the point which I revert back to my city slicker ways and ask how are you going to get them out? To which Travis explains that he is strongly recommending that we wait 2-3 weeks to have them removed. Come again? See, the Mama squirrel can be trapped and taken out easily but with the babies, they are too young to trap and without Mama they will die in my chimney thus creating a nasty smell that could linger for months in my house. Pass the smelling salts! Are you telling me that I have to live with squirrels in my chimney for the next few weeks? Yep, that’s the deal. To say I am not happy is an understatement, I once moved out of an apartment less than a month after moving in because I discovered it had cockroaches. My tolerance for critters is lower than low.

However while I hate critters and creatures, I understood that there is no way for them to get into our living quarters since the damn fireplace has been sealed up and the chimney itself is brick and lined with mental hence the sound we are occasionally hearing. Oh my!

So on this Mother’s Day, I am honoring all mothers including pesky gray critters that have invaded my chimney and are wreaking havoc on my nerves with their sounds. Guess all mamas need a little help at times, so I am doing my part. But what is the mailing address for this Mama Gray Squirrel because it seems really rude to stick me with a $500 bill when I have graciously allowed her babies to live.

5 thoughts on “Helping a Mama in need…a story with a twist”

  1. When my family opened up the camp a few years back, we found two wood ducks had crawled into the chimney, ended up the stove, and died. We were going to cap the chimney, but never got around to it.

    The next year it happened again and we didn’t get around to it.

    Finally, the following year, we found a wood duck and a squirrel’s nest. The chimney was promptly capped.

    I guess I’m suggesting, once the squirrels are gone, don’t convince yourself it is a fluke.

    • We are definitely capping it after the family is removed. We actually thought it was capped when we had the roof done years ago which is why we really were not expecting something to be in the chimney.

    • Fortunately, the “squirrel program” (yes, that’s what the guy called it) price includes screening off the chimney so future critters won’t easily be able to enter. Small blessings.,

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