If you’re a close personal friend, and 90% of you who read the blog are, then you know of my ongoing battle with the rodents in my yard. Particularly one groundhog family that has been plaguing me since, well, since I moved into this house eleven years ago.
The Fatty Clan have successfully evaded my every attempt at ridding them from my grounds. Not high-tech sound devices, nor wolf pee, nor humane traps set by professionals that cost me HUNDREDS has successfully banished the powerful subterranean cabal. How many babies do these things have every spring? I mean, get a Tivo and take the night off already!
I have in recent years, resorted to throwing water at the Fatty family members when I see them in the yard, and they usually take off. With speed. In the other direction. But yesterday afternoon, things came to a head.
It was time to pick up the kids. I came out the front door and there was one Fatty lying in the sun in the grass. It didn’t budge when it saw me, which I thought was unusual, and I considered getting something to throw at it so I could make it to the car un-accosted. But I figured, it would run once I started coming down the stairs.
Darlings, that didn’t happen. Not only did it not run in the other direction, it started running toward me. Yes, dears, I was chased by a fat rodent to my car. Fortunately I was wearing converse and the car keys were in my hand. I got the door open, and then looked around and Fatty was right on my heels. I swiped at it with my purse. My Cole Haan with the suede and patent leather weave. My FAVORITE bag. And all the while I’m wondering if rabid groundhog blood comes out of suede. Does it, darlings? I didn’t have high hopes. But I also didn’t want to risk getting into the car and Fatty jumping in after me (oh they’re jumpers. I’ve seen them jump into the tree to get from my house to my neighbor) so I ran to the front of the car and hopped on the hood.
Let me just say that the slope on the hood of a Prius does not make a good perch. I slid right off. I darted about six feet away and looked around for my attacker. It was no longer in pursuit. It was under the car. Lying in wait.
I had to get into the car. I had to get the children! So I summoned up some nerve, and ran toward the rodent, into the car and slammed the door faster than you can say “yellow-bellied housewife.” At that point, I start the car and backed up, my muscles tense as a cornered cat, wondering if I’d run over the dumb thing!
I didn’t. It ran off. Whew. The squelch of an animal under my tire (even one that had me so flustered that I started calling everyone “darling” like some European emigree instead of my usual “honey”) would have done me in. Then I had to drive around the block because (again, totally flustered) I drove in the wrong direction.
Anyway, I picked up the kids and got back home only to find that Fatty was lying in wait for us in the yard. I would have called for help, but I left my phone at home. I yelled over to the neighbor, and he came over, saw my predicament, suppressed a snicker, and then got a garbage can and a broom to try to get rid of the plotting little furball. As soon as he got near, Fatty attacked again. My neighbor managed to avert it and Fatty ran under his car, which was parked in the street in front of my house. While he had Fatty engaged, I got the kids inside and came back out. When Fatty saw me, it charged for me again. My neighbor very gallantly swiped at him, trying to get him inside the garbage can, or at least away from the house, but to no avail. Fatty got hit broadsides with the broom, and finally dodged beneath my porch where undoubtedly it sank exhausted into a settee and poured itself a cup of joe spiked with Captain Morgan.
I called my husband and told him about the malevolent look in Fatty’s eyes, that the creature knew we were out to get it, and that it was cooking up vengeance. This is a rodent with nothing to lose, I told him. My husband laughed. I hung up on him. (I didn’t actually hang up on him. I wanted to. But I was so terrified and in need of consolation that I endured his mocking laughter hoping he’d come home quickly and rescue me.)
With frayed nerves, and the children on the lookout, I started to make dinner, only to see that Fatty was now staking out the backyard, staring in through the kitchen window, daring us to come out to play I guess. Fat chance, Fatty!
Then my husband called back and I tried to tell him about Fatty’s stakeout, but he cut me off and said that the parking garage had damaged our other car, and he didn’t have time for the whole groundhog bit.
Sweet Jeevis. If I thought I was doomed before!
My husband got home with the dented car, hell bent on venting his frustration with a rodent ass-kicking. Sadly by the time he arrived, Fatty had retired to his den of doom. You know, early to bed, early to terrorize.
Dreading the morning, and how I was going to get the kids to the car, and then myself from the car back to the house, I whined a bit. My husband, He-man, told me to stand my ground, that I was bigger than the groundhog. And smarter, added my daughter. So I needed to show him who was boss.
Stand my ground against a rabid wild animal with nothing but a designer purse?
Darlings, this does not bode well.
And then–oh there’s more darlings!–I got an email and a voice mail from the Englewood police department that said there was a mother bear and two cubs on the loose in town.
I’m living in an episode of “when animals attack.”
I’m putting the house up for sale. But who would buy it? I haven’t even mentioned the Squirrel Mafia yet!