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A Chipmunk’s Tale

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.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. That is too funny! Must have been fun cleaning up all that cat litter around the kitchen 🙂 We had a similar incident when my girls were young. Our cat brought in a chipmunk, the girls jumped on chairs and I was left trying to trap the chipmunk and scoot it out the door. Everything happened so fast and fortunately the chipmunk made it out the door rather than further into the house!

  2. Oh dear…haha!! When I was growing up our cat brought a chipmunk as well. Poor thing ended up in the bathtub, which thankfully made it fairly easy to scoop it into a paperbag and released outside.

  3. This is hilarious and a great story! Love the kitty litter part
    and can just picture the fun your big kid hubby had tackling
    the chipmunk task! Honey, I am here to rescue you!! Oh, my
    gosh, did I have a good laugh!! Sounds like it could have been
    my hubby!

  4. Hysterical and well described – wish you had a camera going -the mental picture with Dale and the sword on top of the washer is priceless.

  5. That’s hilarious!!!! I love Dale’s ‘technique.’ My folks would have tried to keep it as a pet, named it, and had it written into their Will or something crazy like that.

  6. Oh, yes. Cats and their prey. If they only didn’t want to play with things. Our caught a bat and then kept setting it down. Eeew! I was impressed that he caught it, though.

  7. Oh, Carole! I can just picture it! Dale was so resourceful to think of the leaf blower. (Amazing how quick those little chipmunks can move, isn’t it?)

  8. I don’t know whether to feel more sorry for you or for the chipmunk. At least you and Dale got a good story out of the adventure. I hope you’re feeling better! I’ve had the same yucky stuff.

  9. This incident reads like a slapstick comedy routine!!!

    Too bad it wasn’t filmed.

  10. Oh my goodness, thanks for the great story (and chuckle) this morning! I’m glad there was a happy ending for all (even if the “ending” is somewhat shortened for one)!

  11. Chipmunk evacuation procedures are routine at my place…… glad to know we’re not alone ~grin

  12. Catching up on your blog posts… Awesome tatoo Dale! My daughter’s boyfriend is agonizing over getting one. He is afraid of pain. I don’t know if I will ever take the ink plunge.

    Pretty pretty pinwheels! You are one crafty lady.

    I was hoping the chipmunk story would be blog material! I just have this picture of you and Dale battling said chipmunk armed with sword and broom. OMG. Too funny! My old cat would occassionally bring up critters from the basement. After hearing your chipmunk tail, I think we will refrain from letting the new kitten go down to the basement.

  13. I’m so glad I hadn’t taken a sip of coffee before I read your post!
    Now, one question? Who cleaned up the kitty litter?
    Actually I think the idea was brilliant and it obviously worked, but oh my what a mess!
    Feel better soon.

  14. OMG, that is just too funny. The Disney people should be calling any moment to offer you guys a consulting role in their next epic, “The Chipmunk and the Swordsman!”

  15. Classic!!

    We had an incident with squirrels in our attic and subsequently scrambling around our ductwork. We called animal control and before they came out, they told us to play loud music to try to scare the vermin away. So my husband cranked up a boombox with George Thorogood’s Bad to the Bone, aiming it into a cold air return for max effect.

    It didn’t work, but now I can’t hear the those opening 5 chords without collapsing in laughter.

  16. I wonder what the chipmunk is saying at home to his wife and kids. “A likely story,” the wife is saying as he explains how he lost his tail.

  17. Excellent story! I’ve had mice, snakes, salamanders and even a bat in the house but never a chipmunk. I would have never thought of a leaf blower…super plan!

  18. i initially thought the sword was for cutting off the chipmunks head! Such a funny story for those nOT in the house with the rodent.. ugh I hate them in my house….outside,,,,they are darling

  19. Fantastic tale/tail! I too wish there were a video, but I’m sure there wasn’t time for that. We’ve had mice, snakes a little lizards, but no chipmunks inside so far – hoping for that to continue ;o)

  20. I’m not sure, but I think chipmunks are designed with removable tails for just such an emergency. When my ex-boyfriend decided it would be fun to catch a chipmunk for the cat to play with, he called me to tell me all about it. I was appalled and warned him not to let the thing loose in the house. Of course, that was about the time it squirmed out of his hands. The cat toyed with it, but the ferret went in full “I was born to eat those” mode. The ex caught the chipmunk before the ferret got to it, but the chipmunk left his tail behind as he escaped outside. Note the use of the term ex-boyfriend.

  21. Great Story…laughed so hard..makes me think of the chipmunk on that Enchanted movie…but I am sure it was no where as cute as we see in our minds..
    Our poodle once caught a bird at the birdfeeder in the yard..I think it froze and she just ran up (to chase it as usual) but just picked it up and started to trot back to the house with it until we yelled for her to drop it..pets are crazy/fun sometimes. Feel better

  22. What’s that expression? Better thee than me? ;^) Do any of Dale’s re-enactor friends need a chipmunk tale hat?

  23. That is hilarious! I can only imagine what the chipmunk is posting on *his* Facebook page! “First the cat bit my tail off, then this guy came after me with a huge sword and a leaf blower!” 🙂

  24. The visuals are priceless -sword, broom, blower. And poor Mason. He lost his prize – or most of it! I hope the rest of your week is less eventful.

  25. Oh dear –reminds me of the time we found a bat in our upstairs bedroom. It was so scared that it just cowered on top of the curtain rod. My equally scared-to-death husband didn’t know what else to do to get it out the window, so he called the police!!!! That was 20 years ago, and I’m still laughing about it!

  26. Hee, hee. I hadn’t seen any chipmunks for years but now I have seen a few around work. They are so cute, as long as they are outside where they belong.

  27. So so funny! I wonder if the tail grows back. You would have had to share your fiber stash if this hadn’t been a successful mission. I saw chipmunk nests in your future.

  28. So Mason still has ‘it’ huh?
    This could be in a movie- I wish it was! Precious story!!
    I bet that little chipmunk never comes near your house again.
    My schnauzer once bit the better part of a squirrel’s tail off as he cleared the fence. I would see that poor thing rocking from side to side as he ran around the neighborhood without his tail for balance- but he never again came to our yard.
    Who cleaned up the cat litter Carole?

  29. Thank you. I’m behind on my reading but this was just the laugh I needed this morning. Fortunately I know from experience to swallow before reading.

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