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The Havahart Live Animal Cage arrives today. We study it with foreboding. Will the trip plate pinch their little paws? Will the door spank their little bottoms too hard? Hearing the squirrels cavort in the oaks and watching them perform Olympic-worthy gymnastics to steal bird seed and gnaw hanging plants to nubs, we steel ourselves.

After setting a plate of yummy sunflowers seeds garnished with a dollop of peanut butter inside the trap, I go into the house and call my mother-in-law, Hazel G.

“Kill them,” she advises from her perspective of a long childhood on a farm.

“I can’t kill them,” I cringe. “They’re so cute.”

“Poison them,” Hazel G goes on. “You see one, there’re a hundred more.”

From outside sounds a clunk! Then a few thuds. Himself and I inspect the cage. A squirrel butts his head against the door with surprising force. We gingerly place the trap in a box and load this into the Jeep. All is quiet as we drive, though once in a while we hear a little thud.

Himself and I imagine the muscular, vengeful squirrel bursting out of the cage, intent on tearing out our throats as we careen 70 miles per hour down the freeway. Remember the throat-biting bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Twelve miles later we arrive at a restful woods and spy a couple squirrels cavorting in the shade. A brook babbles nearby. Of course, were anyone like a Game Warden to question us, all of this is purely fiction.

We climb out of the car and set the cage on the ground. Himself pulls back the handle, the cage door opens, and the squirrel dashes forward, only to boink his noggin on the door as the squirrel tromps over the trip plate. Yikes. Now Himself holds the handle down and the squirrel, unharmed, shoots like bullet out of the cage and into the woods.

No sooner do we return home and set the trap, then another squirrel is inside. The peanut butter is irresistible. We make a second trip to the forest glen, feeling better now that the squirrels will have each other, homies joining each other in a foreign locale.

Later we sit on the balcony and observe a very tubby squirrel scavenging bird seed beneath the feeder. We imagine him calling out, “Frank? Annie? Where are you guys?”

We estimate how much we’ve spent to squirrel-proof our few vegetables and flowers, and the analysis is alarming. Check out the next blog TCA of the SRP (Total Cost Analysis of the Squirrel Relocation Program).

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