This noise set off the "Hmmm. What IS that?" reaction series.
I followed the noise into the hallway where the cat was scratching feverishly around the litter box. Not IN the litter box...around the litter box.
Well that is odd.
Then Edison let loose with his battle cry - a distinct cross between a broken sprinkler and squeak toy on its last squeak.
Oh no...he's hunting.
I cautiously looked behind the litter box to see if Edison had removed the legs from a spider, punched a hole in the wings of some unsuspecting moth or if there was a crumpled up ball of tinfoil stuck in the corner. That's when I saw the tail.
20 minutes later, I stopped screaming and peeled myself off the ceiling.
This was not just any intruder. My initial thought before I was gripped with the panic of being eaten alive by a rodent the size of a Snickers bar was "Holy crap! A mouse." But upon closer inspection (read: as he darted from behind the litter box into the open door of The Bean's room and sent me screaming into the living room), I saw we had a chipmunk on our hands.
Somehow I bypassed my natural hunting response of paralysis and closed the door behind the cat and chipmunk. I was half hoping for an epic cage match to ensue - clearing me of any involvement in chipmunk removal. But it was The Bean's room and chipmunk guts aren't good for growing girls. Besides, within 5 minutes the cat was clawing and mewing at the door to be let out.
Stupid cat had given up the chase once the chipmunk had crawled into the furthest corner of the room; safe from cat claws...under THE CRIB.
That's when the nanny showed up.
In retrospect, I deeply regret not having a nanny cam set up. By this time we would be internet stars and I could retire on my YouTube fame.
There was the screaming. The jumping back in terror for no reason roughly 203 times. The moving every piece of furniture in the room with extreme trepidation and dropping it and running in fear every time a tuft of dog hair moved. All from two grown women seemingly responsible enough to raise children.
The following items were used in The Chipmunk Hunt and Extraction of 2012:
* A Mary Kay box emptied of my skin care regiment
* A stuffed giraffe from Crate and Barrel
* A burp cloth
* A lazy, disinterested Labrador Retriever
* A cookie sheet
Shockingly, this arsenal of weapons wasn't working. It was time to get serious.
I marched out of the room and detailed the new plan to the nanny, "OK. We need to go old school. All the old cartoons show people chasing rodents with a broom and a shoe box. Those are our new weapons. When I find the chipmunk, you'll know because I'll start screaming like a little girl. That's your cue to come in behind me and catch him in the box as I chase him with the broom."
Yes. That was my plan.
Yes. It was as hilarious to watch as it sounds.
Yes. It worked.