An apology to squirrels. But not raccoons.
On May 14, 2020, I wrote an article about squirrels in my house.
I was wrong. I apologize to squirrels for accusing them of invading my home, not paying rent, and being a general nuisance. Keep eating your nuts. You’re the best.
No, my issue is not squirrels. It wasn’t in my head either. Exactly two weeks later, on the day of the animal trapping company coming to set up some traps near where I had holes in my roof, I was watching something on YouTube (don’t ask me what it was. Sometimes I watch things and I have no idea why I’m watching it. I now understand why my parents will watch the same channel for six hours a day. We’re just feeding our brains information without thinking about it) only to hear a noise and look up. What I saw? My ceiling was caving in.
Yeah. I knew this was my worst fear from what was going on in my place. I quickly scambled. I grabbed some food, I put a blanket over my couch, I moved some tables, and I opened my front door. I ran upstairs to my room and closed all doors. My bathroom door was particuarly difficult to get shut. I grabbed some baggy clothes (my thought process was whatever is coming out of there, I might as well cover as much skin as possible in case it jumps at me) and locked myself in my office. Then I waited.
Maybe a half hour later I heard the crash. If I was any less observant of my situation I would have had them fall right on top of me. The noise was loud, almost as if I was right back at a pro wrestling show and someone decided to fall off tiny ladders into my living room. I waited a few minutes to hear if anything was trying to run around. I didn’t hear much. So I went downstairs.
This is what I found:
As you can see, the drop ceiling tiles from my living room had fallen. It was a good thing I rearranged where my television was in April because the drop ceiling tile on the left would have fallen right on it. And if you look closer, you’ll see the cuplrits.
Once again, apology to the squirrels. You are not raccoons.
Raccoons in my neighbourhood usually appear for a few days then are gone because the skunks tend to drive them out. And while skunk smell is unpleasant, we don’t have to worry about raccoons if we can smell it. That means no garbage being ripped open or, in my case, a family of raccoons trying to attempt squatter rights. Of course, that proves these raccoons are idiots because if they knew squatter laws, you have to wait for the person to move out before you can do that. Also I don’t own the place. It’s a duplex.
Anyway, I took a photo of the two and raced right back upstairs. I called animal control and they told me to wait an hour. So I waited.
An hour later I went back downstairs. My living room was pretty much in ruins. I couldn’t see any raccoons. I went back to the window they were by and they clearly knocked my kitchen screen out to run off outside. I started to look around to see if I could find them and I didn’t see much. I then looked over at my work computer (I’ve been working from home since March) to see the box I moved the stuff from the contact centre flipped over. I gently flipped over the box with my attack broom (I have learned through this ordeal I need to invest in weapons) to see my greatest fear.
This time I ran out of my house and called back animal control. They told me to keep the door open and look for it to run out. Turned out the little buddy was scared in the box. When animal services came to take it away it was scared but safe. The guy who took it said he might even raise it. I was glad it was out of my place and not hurt. The larger one was gone. And my bathroom door? That… somehow got stuck open and I had to brute force my door open. You know, to add to the fun of the whole ordeal.
I wish that was the end of it but it wasn’t. The next day, up on my roof in one of the traps was another raccoon. I guess that one didn’t want to dive off the top rope of my caved in ceiling.
No raccoons were heard from for almost a week. I was beginning to relax and after a lot of clean up, I started using my living room again. Then I heard what sounded like rustling in my vents. Did they get into my vents? How did they get back into my house? Were they always there? It was infuriating. It was hard to work knowing they were back. Something was back.
The next morning I saw the two buggers up on my roof. For those keeping track, that’s three caught on my roof, one escaped, and one hiding in a box.
Aftermath of the Raccoon Invasion?
It was mid April when I first started hearing something in my ceiling. It’s now mid June. This has been going on almost the entire duration of the COVID-19 crisis, at least in Canada. I feel like the worst of the issue is over. However, there could still be babies up in my duplex walls and they will need to be removed. I certainly don’t want them up there without food or care and I’m not going to get a new ceiling until they have been taken out. The rental management company has been working towards getting everything removed and then putting in my ceiling. It’s still tough to sometimes be in my living room seeing the broken tiles. I guess it’s good this is happening during a pandemic so I didn’t have to deal with this with company.
Throughout this, I’ve been complimented for how well I’ve held my emotions. As someone who works in customer service, I know how useless it is to get angry and shout about a bad situation. I’ve been calm, I’ve been polite, I’ve been patient to a point. I have no reason to be angry at the raccoons for trying to find a home in my place. I have a feeling the reason the skunks weren’t around to run them off in my neighbourhood was because someone had to have killed them. I don’t want them dead. I just want them somewhere else. I want them to live fruitful lives in a better environment then my neighbourhood.
Am I drinking more? Absolutely. Have I been working out much? Not really when the area I was working out at is gone and my schedule is completely messed up now. I’ve been trying to get out of my place more but during a pandemic, even at the later stage, is difficult. I’ve also realized there’s an impulse in me to stay home during this. Almost like I’m claiming my property.
This is my home raccoons! Maybe they do know squatter rights…
It is pretty difficult to create routines or get back to being healthy when you deal with something like this. The pandemic was nothing. Seriously nothing. Wear a fucking mask. Wash your hands. Isolate. That’s been easy. What hasn’t been is the raccoons. NOT SQUIRRELS. But raccoons, either scratching and clawing every day at my ceiling, breaking through it, or still somehow being inside. I know I’m a bit on edge through this and I need a real vacation. It’s hopefully coming soon. So will a routine or two hopefully. Until then?
My bad, squirrels.