I think the squirrels in my neighborhood are football fans — possibly New England Patriots fans.
Two years ago on Super Bowl weekend, I arrived home on Friday to find my house had been broken into. Items on the kitchen counter had been toppled, window shades were torn, and a broken beer bottle lay on the kitchen floor.
After some hairy moments, I finally figured out the destruction wasn’t caused by humans or any of my college-age sons’ friends. The intruder was a squirrel that had entered via an abandoned chimney once used for a wood stove.
I sealed the hole where the squirrel — let’s call him “Rocky” — had entered, and I was set. I also bought a chimney cap and waited for spring to install it.
Spring of 2012 came, then summer, and fall . . . and the chimney cap stayed in the box. The year 2013 came and went. (You know where this is heading, right?)
Fast forward to last week. I came home from work and was greeted by evidence of — yes, the sequel. Rocky II was playing in my home.
With the National Football League championship games today, I can’t help but think he was just inviting himself over a little early. Maybe he just wanted the best seat on the couch, or the one closest to the snack cupboard.
At least Rocky II didn’t trash my house like his predecessor did two years ago (perhaps Rocky II is female?). I busted out the Havahart again, set some peanut butter and pretzels on the trap door and that was that. Another trip to the park, and Rocky II was free once again.
The New England Patriots, meanwhile, take the field again today, this time for the right to play in Super Bowl (XLVIII) on Feb. 2. If history means anything, Rocky II’s home invasion doesn’t bode well for the Patriots’ chances.
And let the record show that Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day, not Squirrel Day. I’m not sure when National Chimney Cap Installation Day is, but I’ll be sure to observe it this time.