On Friday morning, February 2nd, 2007, at approximately 08:00 Eastern Standard Time, my daily morning routine was interrupted by loud crashing noise emanating from the fireplace in my bedroom. My bedroom, you see, is actually a converted den and sports this really dirty fireplace and chimney combination.
The landlady previously had the chimney shaft sealed up to prevent additional soot, dirt, and other undesirables from falling in. As I soon discovered, the material she used was styrofoam. Unfortunately, this means any number of objects can break through the seal... such as a squirrel in this case.
In my first encounter, the squirrel, which I henceforth name Asshole, seemed quite surprised from the fall and quickly climbed back up the chimney. I examined the broken seal and tried my best to prop it back up by stuffing the fireplace with an assortment of cardboard boxes. Unable to delay my walk to campus any further, I reluctantly left my room while hoping Asshole wouldn't find a way down from the chimney.
Alas, hope shined not upon me that day. After returning home later that night, I found that Asshole did indeed make it back through my blockade and caused quite a mess. A number of my books and papers lay strewn on the floor, and I even found a few pellets of squirrel poop. But the worst piece of devastation was the damage done to my wooden window frame. Apparently, squirrels typically chew on wood to keep their teeth sharp, and Asshole is no exception. Large chunks of the frame have been bitten off and piles upon piles of wood chips surrounded the area around my window (which includes my bed).
Determined not to be bested by a mere rodent, I called forth the aid of my trusty housemate, Yunpeng. Together, we combined our collection of cardboard boxes and built an even stronger blockade in the fireplace. Our work completed, we awaited Asshole's next move.
That evening, I returned home to find my bed defiled by another pile of those confounded wood chips. Asshole, it turns out, is quite adept at chewing through styrofoam, and is thus able to create or enlarge smaller holes not covered up by our blockade. With my bedding also soiled by squirrel poop, and considering the late hour when which I returned home, I resigned myself to a night on the living room sofa, all the while cursing the day I met Asshole.
The following morning, I made one last desperate attempt to shore up my crumbling blockade. I fully expected Asshole to quickly break through my flimsy modifications, but my other commitments required my presence elsewhere. That evening, when I returned home to prepare for the SuperBowl, I found, much to my surprise, that Asshole had not inflicted any additional damage while I was gone.
It turns out that Yunpeng managed to capture the pest and cast him out of our apartment earlier that day. As he tells it, the battle was one of jabs and counter strikes. Asshole managed to squeeze down through a smaller hole, but was unable to climb back up through it (hooray for gravity). As Yunpeng made his charge, Asshole was forced to retreat behind my dresser. Asshole then repeatedly dashed between two defensible locations in an attempt to frustrate and confuse. Unfortunately for him, his predator was not so easily deterred. After identifying Asshole's movement patterns, Yunpeng successfully anticipated Asshole's next maneuver and caught him in mid-scramble. Yunpeng photographed his moment of triumph (shown below) before finally setting the vermin free outside.
As for myself, life is slowly returning to its pre-invasion state. My room is still a mess, and I've only just finished washing my bedding. Seeing as how I wish to keep at least some of my dignity despite being bested by a squirrel, I've elected not to put up any photos of my room. At least the SuperBowl was enjoyable.