We live in the country, so it’s not unusual for us to have mice or other rodents sharing the house with us. Many years ago, we discovered a family of eight snakes living between the concrete wall and the Styrofoam insulation in our basement storage room. In the past few years, squirrels have eaten their way through our screens so they could help themselves to fruit on our table and counter. We’ve even had a few ‘runaway’ birds loose in our house.
But nothing prepared me for what I experienced last week. I got up in the morning and stepped down the two stairs into our master bathroom. Then I lifted up the toilet seat. To my surprise, out jumped a squirrel!
I did what any normal woman would do: I screamed and ran over to the bed. When my husband asked me what was wrong, I told him that a squirrel just jumped out of the toilet and was currently running around our bathroom. He immediately got up to check out the situation. The squirrel, just having jumped out of the toilet and knowing that the toilet was not freshly flushed, James realized there would be a huge mess to clean up. And …there’s no door on the bathroom since it leads to our bedroom. So with quick thinking, he had me and a few of our boys hold up a blanket at the doorway in order to keep the squirrel (and the mess) confined to the bathroom. He then hurried outside to the window and cut a hole in the screen. The squirrel freaked out as my husband was cutting the screen, but as soon as the screen was open, the little fellow jumped quickly out the hole. (As he was jumping through the hole, I realized we’d lost our chance at getting a photo of him…hence the iStock photo above of a generic jumping squirrel).
We were stumped as to how the squirrel got into our toilet. At first, we wondered if he could have come in through the septic system. Unlikely, we were told by friends. Upon further investigation, we concluded that he must’ve squeezed in through a hole near the tub (behind the small staircase) in search of water in our current drought.
Back in the messy bathroom, who would’ve thought such a small creature would create such a huge mess? I had a few writing deadlines to meet, so I assured my husband that I would clean up the mess later. His response, “Don’t worry. I’ll clean everything up.”
Wow. Forget the flowers; forget the wining and dining, forget the chocolates. In that moment, “cleaning up the bathroom” was one of the nicest, most thoughtful things he could’ve done for me. My hero.
And the squirrel? We’re hoping he’s happily chomping on nuts outside of our house.
In the days after the incident, well…I was a hesitant to use the toilet, especially if the lid was down. So, my husband nailed a board around the hole so the little fellow (or any other small animal) could not get into our bathroom (or toilet).
Of course, I’ll never lift the lid of that toilet in such a carefree manner again.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Photo from iStock