THERE’S A zany news story floating around about a woman who was removed from a Frontier Airlines flight after it was discovered that her pre-approved “comfort animal” turned out to be a squirrel. Yes, a rodent was this woman’s choice for comfort. Although her shrink said it was fine, the airline did not consider it to be fine, so off she went, and her little squirrel, too. They did book her on another flight which she took, sans rodent, but still she’s threatening to sue and says she will eventually end up “owning a large part of the airline.”
This story grabbed my attention more than it might have another time because just a few nights ago a squirrel got into our house and made both me and my husband extremely rattled for the next 48 hours. It was, you could say, our discomfort animal.
The squirrel was a baby, which was the only thing he had going for him. Had he been full-grown I would have worried he had rabies and called in the big guns from Terminix. But this little guy, lacking street smarts — and roof smarts — had fallen down our chimney flue. When we heard noises coming from that area my husband, AGAINST MY ADVICE (which I offered quite loudly but he says he didn’t hear me so there’s another whole issue we’ll have to check out), opened the flue and out he dropped. He didn’t stick around long and was off in a flash, literally. For the whole night, the next day, and the next night, we searched for him in vain, while our cat Lurch barely raised an eyebrow and slept quite soundly despite the odd noises at odd hours and the dashing little body darting about from here to there.
None of it was good. I worried he’d bite us in our sleep. Or that Lurch would find him and finally get with the program and eat him and, even worse, then throw him up. Or that the squirrel would die somewhere hidden, sad and hungry and alone and wondering, “Why me?” Not only was that scenario heart-wrenching but potentially quite smelly. Miraculously, through unrelenting diligence and wielding a shoebox (my idea), Mitch was finally able to chase the intruder onto the front screen door, which we quickly opened (actually I opened it) from the outside and managed to slam him off it, into the bushes and the cover of night.
The whole ordeal was the opposite of comforting. In fact it was incredibly stressful, causing a leap in my blood pressure and some weird chest pains that sent me to the ER the very next day. That lady from the airplane is obviously nuts.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.