Have you ever heard the Ray Stevens song "The Day the Squirrel Went Bezerk"?
It tells the story (as many of Ray Stevens' songs do) of a squirrel getting loose in church and wreaking havoc among the churchgoers.
It's very funny.
That is, until something like unto it actually happens to you.
I'm not kidding, and I assure you, not one bit of this is made up.
Last Thursday, we had Cub Scout Pack Meeting.
Stephen had earned his Webelos badge and Arrow of Light before he turned 11 on Aug. 15, so we were excited he would be receiving these awards.
It was to start at 6pm, so it was imperative that we leave home by 5:45pm to get there on time.
All the kids are at the table.
Dinner is underway and we are making progress toward our goal of leaving on time.
I finish my dinner and walk outside for a minute.
Our cat, Orion, is chasing a small rodent-like creature down the edge of the house.
I silently cheer him on and pride myself on having a hunter in the family that rids our home of nasty pests.
I know we're on track for the night, so I am feeling pretty good.
I head back inside, and leave the door open momentarily behind me.
After a minute, I shut the door, and tried to verbally hurry the kids along, telling them they still need to find their shoes and get their hair combed.
"Mom," Emily says, "Orion has a tail hanging out of his mouth."
Orion is inside?
(For the record, he is an inside/outside cat).
I just knew that he had just been chasing a 4 inch rodent outside, and now, he was inside, presumably with WHATEVER that rodent was, IN HIS MOUTH!!
It only took about 2 seconds to connect the dots.
He must have caught the creature and slipped in to share his prize with us before I shut the door.
So, bracing myself for a dead offering, I stooped down to see what kind of carcass I needed to clean up.
All of a sudden I hear,
"HE LET IT GOOOOO!"
"What is it??"
Lo and behold, Orion, brave and mighty cat hunter he is, had grabbed a chipmunk by the tail and brought it, ALIVE, into our home.
So at 5:30pm, chaos ensued.
Every child was screaming or standing on their chair or chasing me to try and see the chipmunk.
I was chasing that dad-gum chipmunk (for about 12 minutes!)
from guest room (where part of the tail actually came off),
to the piano (underneath to boot, so I'm clearing the top of it and trying to move it enough so that Orion can recapture his prey),
to the TV room in a corner,
up underneath the recliner (where he chose to stay for a couple of minutes until I totally tipped over the chair and shook it),
to a newly washed pillowcase next to the couch, in which this little, bleeding-tailed chipmunk buried it's head and half of it's body, trying to find security and peace.
Meanwhile, I'm frantically trying to decide what I can do if I can't get Orion to catch the LOVELY prey he was so anxious to show us.
So the following things are racing through my mind:
Would it be completely stupid to leave a chipmunk in the house when we weren't home?
Where would it hide?
There are lots of places for it to hide for a really long time in my house.
No way, I can't leave a chipmunk unattended, to have free reign in my house while I am gone.
I can just miss Pack Meeting.
No, that won't work, Stephen is getting his awards.
And I'm saying, no, YELLING,
"Get your shoes on, NOW!"
"There's a tail on the floor?! YUCK! Stephen, get a Wal-Mart bag and pick it up with the plastic, BUT DON'T TOUCH IT!"
"Where's Sam?....Emily, GO BUCKLE HIM IN THE VAN!"
"EVERYBODY!! Get your shoes and GO BUCKLE UP!"
"Stop screaming and chasing the chipmunk, GO TO THE VAN, WE NEED TO GO!!"
Once the kids listened and all went to the van, I actually was able to concentrate on the rodent at hand.
When it ran into the wadded up (but clean) pillowcase, I was relived.
It didn't seem to be moving much.
Maybe I could catch it.
Put it in a box or a jar or something.
That is what I would do.
Wait, what if it runs away while I am getting a container?
What if....I just pick up the pillowcase?
That will work.
So I grabbed two edges of the pillowcase, and walked as quickly as possible to the door.
Relieved to be outside, I sighed a huge "Thank You, Lord!", and started to let the chipmunk go.
Then I heard,
"Mom! Can we see it's tail? Where it got bitten off?"
"You caught it! Awesome!"
So after a short show and tell, I let Orion sniff the back of the chipmunk...and the chipmunk literally jumped 18 inches from the pillowcase to the ground a foot away from me and took off, as fast as it could go, Orion on it's heels.
I didn't stay to see the hunt resumed, I just walked to the van and drove away.
Thanking the Lord that I have never had to deal with that before, and praying I will never have to deal with it again, either.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, they didn't have Stephen's awards ready.
They'll be presenting him with them next month.
At another Pack Meeting.
I'll be praying it a chipmunkless night.