If you’ve yet to read part one, scroll down the page a bit.
And for those of you mewling outside my window, here ya go.
I’d never squeezed anything harder in my life than that Adirondack bat (a bat I still have, btw) when I reached the bottom of the cellar steps.
I took a quick look around the corner and saw several odds and ends that had been knocked to the floor. No big deal.
But things got real weird when I happened to look up at the ceiling tiles.
Long, deep and ragged scratch marks ran down almost all of the dropped-ceiling tiles. Gouges and rips were everywhere.
Holy shit, I thought, what the hell…
I’m thinking claws here.
Big ass claws.
I consider myself to be a man not spooked by many things but this was a bit much.
I had no idea what the hell was down here with me and finally decided to deal with the situation in the daylight.
My first thought was, ok, this is an animal of some sort, albeit a wicked pissed-off animal. Maybe it was time to re-think my strategy.
I locked the cellar door and scanned the phone book for an exterminator.
Maybe they would know what the hell was going on here.
It’s always amazed me how different things look in the daytime versus the night.
I went back out to the house the next day (bat still in hand) and called the exterminator (Varmint’s R Us).
Mister Varmint asked me several questions before he gave me his professional thoughts on the situation.
“Sounds like you got yerself a squirrel problem, sir.”
It didn’t sound like much of a problem at all to me.
It sounded like batting practice was just going to be a bit early.
The bottom line was that this problem had to be resolved immediately; the sale of the house depended on it.
“It’s fifty bucks for us to show up and have a look. Okay?”
I gave them the address and began drumming my fingers on the counter as I stared at the cellar door (which was still locked).
After 20 minutes and no Mister Varmint, I thought, screw this, opened the door and went down cellar. My lifelong hatred of squirrels must have made me do it.
Besides, these little bastards owe me a friggin’ fortune in stolen birdseed.
I wasn’t in the cellar for five minutes when I heard the Varmint van pull into the driveway. As I turned to go upstairs, my peripheral vision picked up on something so subtle off to my right that I instinctively looked.
There was a large picture window in the cellar (We used to display one of those cheesy tinsel Christmas trees. You know the kind. It was illuminated by a tri-colored light turned by a chintzy servo motor. Ugh, tacky) and there behind the gauzy curtain was the silhouetted object (monster) of my desire.
No, it wasn’t a squirrel as I’d hoped but an emaciated “Nicole Ritchie” version of your basic housecat. I figured this animal had been without food and water for at least 2 weeks. And boy, oh boy, was he happy to see someone.
I went upstairs and told Mister Varmint what had happened.
He just laughed and handed me a bill.
Lunch was on me that day.
I called the next door neighbors to see if they had any cat food which they didn’t but they did have tuna and crabmeat.
My heart went out to the ‘skin and bones’ cat so I fed him and gave him several bowls of water. I flirted with the idea of taking him home but the idea vanished when the cat looked up at me, meowed (Sucka!), and took off for parts unknown.
Basically, he was starving and began looking around for food.
There wasn’t a crumb to be had in the house.
Except for flour.
We had lots of flour.
And cats don’t like flour…it royally pisses them off.
I could only surmise that the animal had gotten in when we aired out the cellar; it was a Kirstie Allie in, Jenny Craig out scenario that I was happy to resolve.
The house was finally rid of one of its many ghosts and sold shortly thereafter.