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After we spent all that time in last Friday’s comments talking about squirrels, Katherine sent me a childhood picture of her, her two brothers, and the squirrel they were raising!

Katherine said: Here is a pic of my brothers and me on Easter Sunday. Bert, the brother on the left, has our squirrel, Friskie, on his shoulder. A hunter shot the mother and then discovered the babies. Knew my mother would take one and she raised him on a bottle. We loved him. He did get crazy wild running around the house, though. Mom said he’d be jumping from the curtains on top of the cabinets, running up her body as she cooked. He finally decided one day that he’d go see about living with some other squirrels. Probably wanted to get married, etc.

Since then, my parents raised two more bottle babies. If I can find a picture of them, I’ll send it. They got the biggest kick out of those two especially. Had a huge cage built to have them out back once they were big enough. Then the next step was setting them free. I guess two running around the house would have been chaos!

Is that the most adorable picture, or what? Look at those kids in their Easter finery, and Bert all casual and “Yep. Just a man and his squirrel!” I love it!

(Thanks, Katherine! I am dying from the cute!)


Pardon the over-exposedness and blurriness of this picture, but as soon as he saw the camera in my hands, Jake stomped off in a huff. Sometimes he doesn’t mind having his picture taken, and sometimes he’s SO OVER my nonsense. Before I got the camera out, he was vigorously licking Silvio’s head, and Silvio was purring his little head off.

Jake and Paulie Walnuts, snuggled up for a nap.

Silvio and Stefan.

Silvio is such a smug little monkey.

And then Stefan was like “Let me rip your throat out!” and Silvio was all “I’ve made a terrible mistake!”

Silvio getting some Tommy love. That Silvio, he gets around.

He lubs the Toms.

“We bonding, lady. You go ‘way.”

Sitting right there on the floor (next to my desk) is a handheld vacuum. I’m sure it would work well to vacuum litter and other detritus off the stairs, but that’s not what I use it for. What I use it for is to capture wasps that get into the house. In the fall, when it gets cold and then warms back up for a couple of days, it really brings the wasps into the house. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they get into the house, but my theory is (1) around the fireplace (WHICH I HATE) in the dining room, and (2) under the windows, because we have cheap and horrible windows and I’m surprised the entire state’s wasp population isn’t currently residing in our house. Last week, we had three very warm days – it even hit 80 on Wednesday. The wasps reacted as they always do, saying (buzzing?) “It’s warm out here! We should go inside!”

So that handheld vacuum sitting right there had around 15 angry wasps buzzing around in the canister part. (See the baggie on the end of the tube? That’s because wasps CERTAINLY CAN crawl right back out of that little vacuum, and the baggie stops them. I mean, they don’t ALL figure out how to get out, but it happens often enough.)(Hey, what’s more fun than having a handheld vacuum full of angry buzzing wasps? That’s right, a BAGGIE with ONE angry buzzing wasp!)

Meadow’s attention was caught by the sound of all those angry trapped wasps.

“Stand back, lady! I’ll take care of this!”


Because I know you want to know, once there are a large number of wasps in there, I put the whole vacuum in the freezer (or outside, if it’s cold enough) and empty it outside the next morning. Don’t even start with me about how I should set them free after I’ve trapped them. Did I mention that they’re angry stinging insects who want to sting me, preferably in my face? I hate those evil things, and they need to die.


“I’m sorry, I’m not dressed for visitors. You go ‘way.”


2012: “It just keeps going AROUND!”
2011: Meet the new guys!
2010: “No, dear, your toes don’t ‘look funny.’ That’s what chicken toes are supposed to look like!”
2009: The many faces of Mike Teevee.
2008: Delmar always looks so SMUG.
2007: And to you I say, because I really like Elle (NO we’re not adopting her!) and I have started calling her Ellie Belly and I want to have her around for a little while longer, so shaddup.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-10-13 — 37 Comments

  1. I’m sorry… I’m all “live and let live” when it comes to animals/bugs in the wild, but once they cross the boundary into my house (or my personal space) all bets are off. I’ve been known to catch live mice, live spiders, live creepy crawlies, and carry them back outside. Wasps are an entirely different story. They don’t want a quiet peaceful life alongside of you. They’re not looking for a way out and away from you. They are actively seeking squatters rights using any means necessary, up to and including remodeling your house to suit them and even straight up murder. If I find them or their nests in any place I frequent, I have no hesitation or guilt in exterminating them. They’d do the same to me.

    Now back to my regularly scheduled programming… KITTIES!

    • This reminds me for some reason of the evening where Fred and I spent half an hour trapping a mouse that Newt had brought into the house (and immediately dropped OF COURSE). We got the little guy trapped, Fred took him outside and released him… and Maxi snatched him up and ran off with him. SIGH. RIP, little mouse.

      • That’s like what happened (I hope I’m getting my facts straight here) with some seals that were rescued after the Exxon Valdez spill up in Alaska lo these many years ago. They were painstakingly cleaned and nursed back to health, and then released — I think many months later. The joyful rescue workers opened the carriers the seals were in and watched them trundle off into the water and start swimming out to sea …. whereupon they were immediately eaten up by some killer whales.

        I guess that’s just Nature….

        • That is really sad. Can you imagine how horrified and heartbroken they were! Poor little seals and caregivers.

  2. Wasps in my house get hub’s size 14 right upside the kisser! They are the devil’s minions.

    And that Silvio? What a schmooze!

  3. Love the pictures of the kittens bonding with the big ‘uns!

    May I point out, though, that this is the third post without a picture of Ms. Adriana? I am sure it is a simple matter of oversight during this wasp hunting season, and will be rectified soon. Please? 🙂

    Or is it a case of her being camera-shy?

    • The main issue with getting pictures of Adriana is that she’s either off in some difficult-to-photograph place or sitting in my lap, which makes it kind of hard to get pictures of her. I’ll make sure there are some pictures of her tomorrow, and I’ll try to step it up when I’m snapping pictures of them. I’m glad you said something, I’d hate her to get lost in the shuffle! (Okay, in real life she’d NEVER get lost in the shuffle, believe me!)

      • Sounds like she is true to her tortie heritage! Thanks, Robyn! You know that every time I see her I have to talk myself out of taking a long road trip South! 🙂

  4. Couldn’t you put a couple of pieces of cotton soaked in waspkiller in the body of your vacuum . . just to help them along on their journey? Grandad used to use his shop vac on bugs in his workshop but he always sprayed a rag with bug killer and dropped it in the bottom.

    Grandad worked at Edgewood Arsenal . . . where the Army has tested chemicals for decades and saw a lot of bug bites go bad. We always thought he overreacted until my brother . .who worked there . . got bitten by a spider and ended up with a 2 inch hole in his leg (he went from bite to hole in 4 days so . . Grandad was onto something.

  5. I have the same problem with wasps and I never even thought about vacuuming them up – you are a genius!

  6. Katherine – that is a great picture! Thank you for letting Robyn share it with us!

    Brave Meadow, the Wasp Slayer!

  7. There is no way on God’s green earth I could sit calmly next to a vacuum full of angry wasps and not be screaming my head off and having a major case of the heebie jeebies.. Carefully putting a baggie over the end where one of the monsters could come shooting out.. NOT ever gonna happen! You’re a hero, Robyn because if just one of those things got in, I’d be going out!

    That aside.. Why am I imaging a scene like this happening: Fred decides he needs some ice cream and opens the freezer but instead of a yummy treat, he finds a group (flock?) of frosty escaped wasps sitting on a frozen sweeper plotting revenge, trying to start a campfire by rubbing two fish sticks together when they see the light and swarm out and icily sting the face of someone who’s only thought two seconds ago was having the last of the rocky road…

    Ok, one more thing then I’m done.. I know you send a lot of critters to freezer camp, but if you start sharing recipes for chocolate covered frozen vacuum wasps, I’m outta here!

      • Oh my, I am laughing and laughing. Andrea’s got a career as a humor writer (a la Bill Bryson. Have you ever read his book about hiking the Appalachian Trail? Highly recommended.)

  8. I have an agreement with the bugs in my house: I will rescue spiders from The Mighty Hunter Stupidpants (unless they are the white pus-y ones then all bets are off) or ignore the ones that are out of the way (and TMHS hasn’t eaten yet) because they prey on the other bugs. Any other insect which is in the house and hasn’t been eaten by cats gets the squish. Doubly so for earwigs (which none of the cats will eat. ingrates).

    Hee. Silvo, you scamp!

    • I’ll mostly ignore spiders unless I think they’re Brown Recluses (I’ve never seen a Black Widow in the house – and hope I never do!), but also don’t rescue them from the cats (unless I think they’re Brown Recluses, whereupon I “rescue” them with a wad of toilet paper and a flush down the toilet). Spiders are pretty much welcome as long as they aren’t poisonous and keep their webs clean!

  9. I’m fine with setting bees free, but wasps are another matter. Those guys aren’t in danger from colony collapse disorder or anything, so if they enter my apartment I give them the death they deserve.

    I also got your holiday card the other day! I love how smug [redacted] looks in [redacted] festively-decorated [redacted].

    • I edited your comment, because not everyone has gotten their holiday card and I want them to be surprised. 🙂


      • And there I thought that Matthew had wittily redacted himself! Two things: has Fred started asking if Silvio can stay forever? And when did Meadow’s fur get so beautifully glossy?

      • I love a good surprise, so after some reflection I’m actually grateful you gave my comment an edit. 🙂

        Tommy is such a good ambassador to all the kittens! Stefan seems to be laid back, but occasionally more bitey. And it looks like Meadow has a bright future ahead as a bug hunter.

    • I loved the lovely [redacted] …oh so [redacted] shining upon [redacted] contrasting nicely with the white [redacted] and the [redacted] [redacted] due to the [redacted] of the [redacted] [redacted] [redacted…….


  10. My parents’ old house had boxelder bugs like crazy. I can say we’d take them any day over wasps!

  11. My card from Crooked Acres has a place of honor for all to see. Thank you so much. [no redaction needed]!