Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I've Got Squirrels!

Is $1,300 in squirrel Trapping Fees Tax Deductible?

So for the past five days, there have been odd sounds coming from my fireplace. Not the fireplace per se, but the space between my mantle and the metal frame of the gas fireplace unit.
Occasionally you could hear some chirping sounds, so I figured it was a bird who got in through the flue. (Donkey says I have "Bird Flue".) So, anyway, I don't want the Karmic debt of some cute little animal starving to death inside my walls, so I call the trapper folk. That's when things go from bad to worse.

The trapper arrives and indicates that I have a juvenile squirrel inside my mantel. He'll probably have to destroy the custom mantel to free him. But as he's messing with the mantel to free the animal, we notice that the entire fireplace unit just pulls away from the wall. He grabs the squirrel (who I assume is sent off to some nice squirrel rehab center) and then we notice something even more interesting... The contractor who installed the fireplace never installed a vent to the outside. It appears that they tried, but when they cut through the drywall to install it, they were blocked by the main duct work to carry my HVAC to the second floor. So, my fireplace, for the foreseeable future is ornamental.

On the squirrel front, the trapping service came in a $295 for the baby squirrel, with the potential for more to trap the rest of the squirrel family. Then recommendations for additional flashing along the roof line to keep out future squirrel squatters and new gutter traps (my gutters are apparently clogged), will come in at about $1,300 if not more. I have no idea how much fixing the fireplace is gonna cost me.

It seems to me there is an alternate spelling of "Homeowner"..S, U, C, K, E, R!.....

(Actually, I still love my house, but sometimes the maintenance issues are crazy)

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