On Tuesday I stayed home from work to go to a doctor’s appointment. I had been feeling crummy for a week but thought it was allergies. Then I went to see my doctor and he diagnosed me with an ear infection and upper respiratory infection. So much for allergies. My point isn’t to garner sympathy but to set the stage as to why I was home to witness what I witnessed on Tuesday morning. Ready?
I was sitting on the couch with my coffee and the laptop when Mason, my Siamese cat, came up from the basement with a chipmunk in his mouth. He frequently comes upstairs with moles but I saw the tail of this little creature as Mason paraded proudly by and I recognized it immediately as a chipmunk. “Crap, I thought, I hope that thing is dead.” Mason marched himself around the dining room a couple of times and then set his capture down. The chipmunk ran like lightening into the kitchen showing me that he was indeed very much alive.
At this point I’m pretty sure I yelled “oh shit!” as I stuffed my feet into my slippers. I went into the kitchen and found Mason staring under the washing machine in the corner. “At least I know where he is,” I sighed and I picked up the phone to call Dale, who told me to just sit tight because he’d be home in 30 minutes and he’d take care of it.
Mason soon lost interest in staring under the appliance and he found a sunny spot and went to sleep. I kept a watchful eye on the kitchen door and figured the little bugger had either found a way back down to the dirt cellar or he was just hiding out where Mason had seen him last. I also posted the incident on Facebook, of course.
Dale got home and reached for my grandfather’s Masonic sword which we have hanging on the wall in the dining room. He donned a pair of gloves, I suppose for the same reason that I put on my slippers, and he got a flashlight and he handed me a broom. He told me he was going to run the sword back and forth under the washer and dryer in the hopes that the chipmunk would come scurrying out. When he did, I was supposed to sweep him out the open kitchen door with my broom. I climbed up on a chair and stood at the ready with the broom while Dale swished around under the appliances.
He came up with a lot of dust and some missing cat toys but didn’t manage to roust the chipmunk so he climbed up on the washing machine and shone the flashlight down. Sure enough, there was the chipmunk, crouched under the gas pipe. Dale tried in vain to reach him with the sword, still hoping he would run out for me to sweep outside. He had no luck. And then, in the words of the Grinch, he got an idea. An awful idea. Dale got a wonderful, awful idea! Next thing I knew, he had gone out to the garage and come back with his leaf blower. I laughed but he was determined so he climbed back up on the washing machine and turned on that leaf blower and aimed it at the chipmunk.
Sure enough, within seconds, the chipmunk ran out from under the washer. He stopped when he got behind the cat’s litter box. I nudged the box with the broom from my position of safety standing on the chair. And Dale turned the leaf blower towards the litter box. Guess what happens when you hit a cat’s litter box with a blast from a leaf blower? Yeah, you get cat litter all over the kitchen. You also get a scared little chipmunk to come out from behind the box, though.
He ran right in front of me and I used my broom like a hockey stick and I shot that little guy right out the kitchen door. He somersaulted down the steps, shook himself off, and ran in the opposite direction. I have a feeling he might still be running.
In the meantime, we are left with this small souvenir.
A piece of the chipmunk’s tail that the cat managed to bite off just as the poor thing ran under the washing machine.
And that, my friend’s, is my chipmunk’s tale. Or tail. Take your pick.