We've had a groundhog/woodchuck/hedgehog thing living under the shed in the back yard for the last couple of years, and although I can't say I've ben happy it's been there (it ate pretty much all of our flower and vegetable garden back in 2008), I've generally just let it be, which is pretty much my policy with all animals. Until they cross a line. As with the squirrels that took up residency in the roof over our bedroom back in December and therefore signed their own eviction notice, the furry little fucker in the backyard has also apparently (and unwittingly) decided that he no longer wants to be our guest.
So what did the groundhog (henceforth known as Wally) do that finally made me decide that he had to go? He started to use the area near the shed as his own personal bathroom. Over the course of the Spring, he gradually turned a four-foot long crevice in the back yard into a canyon of shit. Literally packed with soggy, seed-filled shit. One of the most annoying and nauseating things I've ever had to deal with, and it made me slightly crazy. To the point where, on a day where my temper had already been completely frayed by the sudden, explosive death of my not-that-old lawnmower (which made my tight schedule much, much tighter when I had to drive across the county to pick up my dad's mower) right after I spent ten minutes shoveling out groundhog shit in preparation for mowing - and, well, as I pulled back into the driveway, there was Wally just sitting in the side yard, and I gunned the engine, fully prepared to run down the hairy little shit machine.
Thankfully, I came to my senses (mental and moral) right away and slammed on the brakes at the end of the driveway. But the incident made it crystal clear to me that Wally needed to be humanely removed by trained professionals, because I had become Carl Spackler from Caddyshack, and my next step was going to be Semtex.
So the Bug Runner - the same group that dealt with my squirrels - came by this morning with a trap, baited with whatever it is you would bait a trap for a groundhog, and suggested that Wally would get in there in the next day or so. Good for Wally, and good for me.
At around 10 PM, I heard what I at first took to be the mewing of our new kittens, but then I realized that they were calmly asleep in the bedroom, and the sound wasn't so much of a mewling as a loud, panicked shrieking, and it was only quieter because it was coming from the back yard. And it just kept on and on and on. If it is Wally in the trap, he's not in pain (thank God), but he's sure not happy about it.
But I sure am. Wally's going to get picked up tomorrow and taken to be released in style, up in Harriman Park. Allow me the small (unbelievably small, petty to a nearly quantum degree) pleasure of listening to Wally sing his song of impotent fury for one night before retiring to do his shitting elsewhere.