Mating squirrels and the romance writer

Imagine my surprise when I awoke yesterday morning to scurrying overhead. Something was in the attic, something that sounded like squirrels dancing. (Little did I know…) My dog Hattie began to bark at about 8:00 a.m. and at 10 o’clock I finally called a pest control agency. They’d send out a wildlife expert, they said. A bit later, an extremely personable young man came to the door. “It’s probably squirrels. Let me take a look outside.” Sure enough, he walked around the house and when he returned said, “I saw several gray squirrels on the tree closest to your house jumping onto your roof, found two holes in the roof soffits and saw a couple go inside!  Geez, I thought, now what?

We checked the attic and when he stuck his head through the small square opening and shined in his flashlight, he quipped affectionately, “Well, hello little guy.”  A squirrel was staring him in the face.  “You have a REAL squirrel problem.”

Downstairs, while filling out the forms to pay him for trapping them (with a squirrel friendly device and he’d let them go in the wild) he added, “I’ve had forty calls this week. It’s mating season early because the weather is so warm.”

What did that mean? I shuttered to think.

He explained without prompting. “The female squirrels are probably getting inside first and then the guys are popping in and out to find them.”

Oh, hell, I thought. I could have lived forever without that image in my head.

“Did you hear cooing?”

“Um, yeah.”

“That’s the female squirrel who’s not ready to mate yet trying to get the male squirrel off her back. Literally.”

I knew I didn’t want to hear more.

“The male squirrel bites her on the neck to encourage her to cooperate. She coos. You know,” he said philosophically, “it’s like human beings. We fight. We make love. We fight. We make love.”

OMG, did this guy know I was a romance novel writer?

I started to laugh—really hard. I know he couldn’t imagine why. But I was thinking about how I write my books on my laptop sitting on my bed. Up above…the unthinkable was happening.  As I sketched out some steamy loves scenes, squirrels from my backyard were making some steam of their own right there in my attic!

Later that day, the traps were set outside with a female he’d picked up earlier in it to attract the others. (Jailbait, I called this). After the man left, I heard more scurrying, and some banging (pardon the pun). Oh, no, I thought, is that the equivalent of hearing the bed hit the wall in the hotel room next to you? Can I possibly work up here anymore?

As I began to write this blog, I glanced outside. A squirrel happily (well why not? he knew he could get lucky) bounced on the tree limb outside my window, hopped onto my roof and sure enough, I heard the scurrying right over my head. Hattie began to bark. And I thought, here we go again. No cooing yet, but who knows what the day will bring until the problem is solved (about a week, my squirrel romance expert said).

I knew I had to share this story with my readers. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways. Can’t say it’s giving me much new material for my books, though. I just keep thinking about that biting…

Posted by Kathryn Shay

Filed as: Miscellaneous