Why is it that when you are all alone at night the creepiest sounds come oozing out of places that never made sounds before? Dave has been out of town all week and every night there has been a different creepy sound.
Two nights ago the wind and the rain came blowing in but on top of the howling was a high-pitched humming sound. It screeched off and on all night giving me and the cats (bless their little radar ears!) only a moment’s peace before starting up again. By 2 a.m. we finally drifted off into a fitful sleep.
Then last night while Dave and I are texting our goodnights there is a skittering above my head.
I’ve dreaded this moment since we moved in. The moment when there would be sneaking, crawling, living creatures up in the attic. And here the moment was. With me all alone! No, I take that back. There is me and there are cats and together we perch, poised for action, at the edge of the bed. Soon there is shuffling and low squeaks and what sounds like nuts rolling helter-skelter along the attic floor. I scurry under the covers and text Dave–who happens to be at a Cyndi Lauper concert.
I love Cyndi. She’s amazing and fabulous and I spent all of ages 4 though 6 trying to get my hair to look like hers BUT I am in a serious crisis. Dave needs to catch the red eye back home so that we can crouch on the edge of the bed together and listen to the creatures play nut-soccer in the attic.
He texts back that everything will be okay. So I call my mom. While I’m describing the situation to her I hear a squeak and I let out a scream. Devils! But Mom can’t talk for long so it’s just me and the cats again.
Louder squeaks now. It sounds like cheering. A squirrel must have scored a goal. Nuts roll back and forth above my head and then!…I hear little baby squeaks.
Then the reality of the situation hits me: the high-pitched hum from the night before were labor squeaks. An expectant she-squirrel suffered through the night to birth her litter. Once the sun comes up she tells her husband to go and inform the entire family of the new arrivals. And so he does.
And now the entire family wants to see the babies.
“Okay, you guys can come over at around 11 pm. Bring extra nuts so that we can play soccer.”
The family goes ape over the babies. “They look just like their mother!” “No, their father!” “No, their grandmother!” Perched on fluffy pillows of yellowing insulation the squirrel family nibbles on roasted pecans and catches up on life. Then the new mama squirrel says she is going to bed because she is not in a state to play hostess all night long.
Knowing that there is a joyous reunion going on above my head I have peace that the squirrels won’t have enough time to party AND creep down from the attic, crawl into my bed and chew on my face.
With that I fall asleep.
**P.S. I’m thinking we will destroy the squirrels some time next week.