Things have been so peaceful in the attic above our bedroom for quite some time now. No more waking at dawn to the patter of little feet running above us, no sounds of gnawing through walls, no squirrels, possums, or the like making a grand entrance through our bedroom fireplace and scaring the bejeezus out of us. My sweet husband Dan, aka, ‘Mr. MacKenzie’ (Dan’s home repair alter ego), has done whatever it takes to keep our home safe and impenetrable from the creatures who are supposed to stay on the outside, climbing up tall ladders, climbing out onto our roof, braving the attic of our one hundred year old home in the sweltering heat of Alabama summer and the frigid cold of deep winter. He has kept Lowe’s in business buying hardware cloth, metal screening, and metal flashing (along with the requisite myriad of tools) to block the little suckers from breaking into Chez Gainey, often risking life and limb in the process. Sadly, those days of quiet have once again come to an end.
noun 1. an agile tree-dwelling rodent with a bushy tail, typically feeding on nuts and seeds.)
Mr. MacKenzie’s most worthy opponent, returning year after year, is Charlie the Squirrel. Charlie is the stuff of legend around these parts. We estimate that we are now on Charlie 14, as this is our fourteenth year in our wonderfully funky old Southside home. Charlie mocks us, peering into our bedroom window in the morning, and even mooning us at times. He seems to have the time of his life catapulting from the trees to our roof, and loves nothing better than to find his way into our attic (I really can’t blame him- the view is spectacular up there).
It was this past Saturday morning that I first noticed we may have a problem. I was just waking up when the dogs suddenly got excited, looking at the picture window. Sure enough, there was Charlie, hanging onto the side of the window and staring in at us. I didn’t have my glasses on, but I could have sworn he was flipping us off. I alerted Dan and got that familiar feeling of dread when I saw the gleam in this eye…No squirrel will get the best of Mr. MacKenzie! It’s times like these that I keep 911 on speed dial on my phone.
I came home from school this evening to find Dan’s tools laid out and the attic ladder folded down. It’s go time. Coops and Sophie seemed excited, hoping to be a part of the action as always. I just prayed that there would be no rodents running through our house (oh, it’s happened…multiple times). I climbed up the ladder into the attic and found my husband. I knew he meant business, as he had on his headband with a flashlight on it. He was putting flashing over the place where Charlie had chewed his way in, and then stapling metal screening over the decorative latticework on either side of the attic window. He was sweating and talking sternly to his staple gun, and I believe I heard some curses directed at a certain squirrel. Mr. MacKenzie was a man on a mission, and woe be unto any critter that tries to cross him.
Spring has barely begun, but it looks like the gauntlet has been thrown down yet again. I foresee another epic battle between Mr. MacKenzie and the squirrel on the horizon. To the victor goes the spoils. 911 is on my speed dial…please send good thoughts.