Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Critter Trials

  Around Christmas time I began to have wild critter problems. Something came into  the screened porch and clawed into the bag of dog food. This may seem awfully bold, but I have a hole cut in the screen so my Chihuahua can go in and out as she pleases.   I moved the food to a chair, but the critter found it there, but ultimately I was able to keep it safe by employing a metal can for storage.  There never seemed to be any food left in the dog dish in the mornings. A couple of nights when Dora was barking her shrillest, I turned on the porch light to see an immature possom streaking for the doggie door. Later I noticed there was also a possom sized hole in the screen in another place where there had previously been a small slit in the wire.
  This shrill barking and chasing something in the yard became a nightly thing that I was tiring of. I borrowed a have-a-heart trap and set it with dog food as bait. Night after night the dog food would disappear but the trap did not trip. One night I surprised a mouse by the cage. Maybe it was squeezing through the wire cage or maybe it was just not heavy enough to trigger the trap. I think it was a field mouse as it had those round cute little ears. But it was a greedy little dude because no matter how much dog food I put in the trap, it was all gone in the morning. I began to think about the mouse that recently invaded  my cabinets and wondered if it had come in the house by scooting in an open door. This thought made me more anxious to rid myself of the mice, as well as the possom. I baited the trap with Decon and it disappeared also. After about 4 or 5 days, the mouse did not return for any more treats.
  But still, that possom was out there , getting on Dora's nerves, and her barking was getting on mine. Some one suggested baiting the trap with peanut butter, so I stuck a big glob on the trap lever. It sat there for days, but last night, I caught him. Dora was carrying on so I rose from my bed to silence the chatter. I decided that I needed to get the cage off the porch or else none of us were going to get any sleep, and I certainly did not want to deal any further with that possom then.
  As I hauled the possom-in-cage out the screen door, somehow I allowed the trap door to open a bit and that possom started out. I slammed it against the porch railing and trapped it, but it was clear to me that unless I was willing to try to squeeze that possom to death, it was going to get away. So I released my hold on the cage and he was gone in an instant. Dora took out across the yard after it, but we all knew that possom was gone. (By the way, it had grown quite a bit since the first time I saw it. Dog food agrees with possoms.).
  Now you would think that possom would give us a wide berth for a few days at least. But no. It was out there tonight in the bushes, and Dora screaming shrilly. Again.

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