Top of my to-do list today: get that chipmunk out of the Studio!
It was my own fault, of course. I had put the extra sunflowers seeds which didn't fit into the metal bird food container in the Studio last week. I did this for two reasons, first because the house just doesn't have room for large bags of seeds and, second because putting a bag of sunflower seeds in the garage would be inviting all the local squirrels, chippies, raccoons, mice and other nightlife in to dine. Then Friday was a nice warm day so I had the Studio door open. Saturday morning I was in there early getting stuff out of the kiln for the Market that day and quickly discovered that there was a chipmunk inside and not a happy one, either.
At that point it was about 7am and I had to go so I decided to deal with Ms. Chippie later. I closed the door because now it was cold out and anyway I didn't want two chippies in the Studio.
Sunday I tried for a while but I couldn't get her to leave. Would you, once you'd found a lifetime supply of food and water, and a warm floor to boot?
So my first task today was, Remove Chipmunk from Studio.
Wasn't hard to find out where she was. There were sunflower seed shells and dug-up plant pots on the windowsill and when I went over there I heard a loud chittering and several pots went skidding across the counter. OK, chipmunk on counter. I pried the screen out of the window and cranked it open.
Loud chittering. Chipmunk on floor behind pails of glaze. Dog attempting to dig chipmunk out. Pails of glaze sloshing as he shoulders them aside.
The screen I took out of the window tips over and bangs me on the head. Aha, chipmunk back on counter. Oh, nope. Chipmunk in fern stand. Bad. Ferns do not like being stepped on by chipmunks or shredded by dogs.
Put dog in house. He sits at the door and barks. Husband lets him back out.
Dog back in house. Husband miffed.
Loud chittering. Chipmunk under bisque-ware shelves. Get broom and try to swish her towards the open door. Sneeze and sneeze because I've stirred up the alumina hydrate which I use on the kiln shelves and which tends to sift under the ware stands. I'm annoyed because two windows and the door are open, it is barely above freezing outside and the electric heater is on to keep the place warm. Turn the heater off. If the Brits can make pottery in studios that are below freezing, surely I can work in one that is above freezing, even if only slightly. No sign of Chipster.
Maybe she'll go out on her own. Start cleaning up some greenware. Peace and quiet prevail.
Back to the Studio after lunch. Loud chittering. Chipmunk on counter. More pots tipped over. Several tiles which have been hanging on the wall for years are on the floor, one of them smashed to bits. Grrrrrr, now I am really getting annoyed. I shout at her, clap my hands and stomp my feet. Chipmunk freaks out, races around the Studio at head height, dislodging another tile, a poster and several ferns, and dives back under the counter behind the glaze pails.
Husband says, lay a trail of sunflower seeds out the door. Tell him that's a dumb idea. Now he's really miffed.
Back out to the Studio. Open both doors and all three windows. Lay a trail of sunflower seeds out the door.
Throw some mug bodies while shivering in the cold breeze from the door.
Dog wanders in.
Loud chittering. Chipmunk on counter..... she ignores the open window and races back and forth along the counter, scattering seedling tomatoes and jars of paint brushes. Dog races back and forth below, always one step behind Super-Chippie. He'd be barking except then he wouldn't be able to snap his teeth at her.
Yell at dog. Order him out. He gaves me a look that says, 'OK, do it yourself then', but he goes.
I fix the trail of sunflower seeds. This is nuts. No, not nuts, seeds. Hey, maybe peanut butter would work.
Doesn't this chippie have a family? Shouldn't she be home looking after the little chippies, maybe getting the laundry caught up?
Carry Pepper the Cat into the Studio. Heh, heh, heh.
She promptly leaves. She likes rain, the only cat in the Western World who does, and it is raining. She sits on the path and communes with Nature. Grrrr..... Some pets I have. My dog thinks chasing chipmunks is a sport, and my cat prefers sitting in the rain to catching a food species.
I pull all the pails of glaze out from the wall, move the kiln shelves so they are away from the wall, and pull the counter with the water pail and washing bowl out as well. Now there's no place to hide at floor level.
Put Dog in the house and bring Cat back in the Studio.
Point Cat at the corner where Chippie was last seen. She goes down low.... slinks along the ground.... a brownish-yellowish blur streaks for the door.......
Victory, Sweet Victory!
Chippie is out!
Now, what to do with a pile of sunflower seeds covered in peanut butter...........