The boys and I had just finished reading back to back Curious George stories this morning when Delilah (the-cat-who-is-not-our-cat) came in. Flap, flap, flap went the plastic doggie door flap, a trick she has just learned. I looked up and the words, well good morning Delilah, died on my lips. In her mouth was a limp chipmunk. I got up and maybe let out a little squeak. She dropped her catch in the middle of the living room floor expecting, I don’t know, praise or a pat on the back for a job well done. The chipmunk saw his opportunity and took it. He scampered around the couch and darted under my computer desk. The chase was on with Delilah hot on his tail and me right behind Delilah.
For a moment it appeared that it was trapped in the corner behind my computer. Leaving Delilah as a lookout (and the boys who were were peering over the back of the couch) I ran for the kitchen and grabbed a large circular Tupperware container. Nope, no knock-off brand plastic storage container for this job. Back in a flash, I moved my stool out of the way and started moving various cords and computer type things out of the way. No chipmunk. I picked up Delilah and moved her over.
The chipmunk materialized from out of nowhere, leapt into the air elegantly executing a backwards triple flip, landed on my keyboard, did a Google search for “How to Get out of a People House” (the never written and rarely talked about sequel to Dr. Seuss’s book A People House), quickly updated his Facebook status to read “Yuck! I am trapped in some strange woman’s house who apparently doesn’t know how to dust her computer keyboard”, then dropped down from the edge of my desk and back behind the two ton, seven foot tall, solid wood, with double glass doors bookcase that I could not move alone if I tried. Yes, I know that was a run on sentence and that some of the contents of said sentence may not be fully accurate but I was rather panicked at the time and to be honest, I still am.
While this is all playing out, I hear from over my shoulder Carter clapping and hollering out this is just like a video game! and this is awesome! Yeah, Carter it is just like that. I pick up Delilah and toss her out the front door. I grab our emergency flashlight that is always on the kitchen counter and shine it behind the bookshelf hoping to catch a view of the varmint. I do not see him but now know that he is good at camouflage just like Peeta from The Hunger Games. I block one side of the bookshelf so he only has one exit, warn the boys for the thousandth time to stay on the couch, and then start whapping on the bookshelf and making a racket. My half baked plan works like a charm as he bolts out from his hiding place and runs. Lucky for me he runs straight forward and does not decide to detour to the right to check out our bedrooms down the hall.
He is standing by the front door. Alas it is closed. I creep up to him, staying low, my Tupperware container at the ready. He darts to under the entryway table; I open the front door but leave the screen door closed because I see Delilah out there waiting. Then in a move that really should not have worked I blindly make a scooping motion under the table with my container. When I pull it out it has a small, frightened chipmunk curled up in the bottom. I have no lid. It takes me about two seconds to swing wide the screen door and hurdle both chipmunk and container outside. I think at that point I may have screamed.
The freed chipmunk runs for cover behind our recycle bin, Delilah is on the chase again. I start to go back in the house but can’t leave that poor critter to be mauled and quite possibly brought back into our house. I head towards the cat and out of the corner of my eye see the boys at the screen door about to open it. The broom I use to sweep the front walk falls, maybe I brushed against it, and the chipmunk runs away from the noise and directly towards the about to be opened front door. I shriek out orders not to open the door. He clears the three steps to our front door in one bound, stands for a moment as if he has rung the doorbell and is waiting to be let back in, and then plops down into the bushes beside our house and is gone.
And who says you need coffee to jump start your day?