Redneck Review

Friday, April 29, 2005

When Chipmunks Attack

Chipmunks are cute little creatures. Sometimes they are called
ground squirrels, which are the same thing with different stripes.

Last year #1 son ran into the house hollering, "Mom, Snuggles
is stalking something out by the trees!" I went out to look.
Our long-haired mostly-white calico cat was after a chipmunk.
He was sitting up on his back legs chattering at her.

"Save him, Mom."
"I don't know if I can. When he runs, Snuggles will go after him."
"Just try, Mom."

I walked closer. The chipmunk turned to look at me. He
chattered louder, like he was scolding me, but didn't run. I
reached down and picked him up. He sat very still in my hands.

By then, #2 son and Genius, our short-haired yellow-striped
cat, had joined us. The chipmunk cocked his head to one side,
and looked at me the way the creature looked at Sigourney
Weaver in Aliens. He tilted his head and stared at me with
his beady left eye, like, "What would you do if...................."

He jammed his long, curved, left canine tooth (can rodents
have canine teeth?) into my left index finger. Deep into the
fingertip. You know, where all the nerve endings are located.
My first instinct was to fling him as far as I could into the field
aka our 4-acre front yard. But nooooo! I still wanted to
rescue him. My kids would find out soon enough that it's a
cat-eat-chipmunk world out there.

I put the chipmunk on a tree limb about as high as my head.
At that moment, Genius scampered up the tree and whacked
Mr. Chipmunk with a right hook. He tumbled to the ground,
where the waiting Snuggles sank her teeth into him.

Duh! Ground squirrel. Lives on the ground. Oh, and in case
you forgot, too: cats can climb trees. What was I thinking?

The murder didn't traumatize my kids as much as the blood
dripping from my finger. The next day, I asked the school
nurse if chipmunks carried rabies. She called the County
Health Center. They didn't know, but said I needed to come
in for a tetanus shot.

The moral of this story? Don't interfere with Mother Nature
in a game of cat-and-chipmunk.


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