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March 29, 2008

Chimpunk Punks

Chipmunk Punks

By Sarah

Recently, I adopted two cats from the local humane society, thug sisters who cannot be separated, to take Cat care of some business matters. Namely, to rub out a chipmunk who's been living in my car for two years and creating havoc with my intake air filter.

While it's not exactly unpleasant to turn on the heater and smell the quintessentially Manhattan aroma of roasting nuts, it is disconcerting to be cruising at 70 mph while a small lump floats around the ceiling always threatening to drop down and run under your foot on the gas pedal.

As for the air filter? Bottom line, it's costing me cash. Every tune up, some wiseguy mechanic holds it up to show his buddies. White fluffy filling from under the seats (which have begun to sag). Brown pieces of dog  food. Sunflower seed shells. They're all there in a cozy home. It's amazing I've got any air to breathe at all.

Enter Patches and Tiny. Those are their real names, like they were born to kill. They're ruthless and Img_2847suspicious. Lithe and evil. And once their delicate paws can handle the snow and cold concrete floor of our garage, I'm setting them loose in my Pilot.

Look - I don't like cats. Our last cat was diabetic and overweight and cleaning up her litter box was a daily nightmare. Cat urine is akin to ricin, in my book. Deadly. Smelly and impossible to cure. They are vengeful and irritating. Dogs are much more trustworthy. Dumb, true, but loyal and generally happy. When they pee on the carpet they're so ashamed they can't make eye contact. A cat enjoys watching you clean it up. That's half the fun.

So perhaps that's why I get secret joy out of this video. Warning: do not watch this if you are a cat or animal lover in general. Even so, I can't help it. It gets me every time.

But don't show it to my cats. At least...not before they put out the contract.



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You don't need two cats, you need one terrier. I've had possum, rabbit, bird, all kinds of things brought to me over the years. It's...unpleasant...but terriers are ratters and you have to accept that hunting vermin is bred into their bones.

Oh my gosh, Sarah, that is hilarious. Poetic justice, mayhap?

Part of your problem is that you have a Honda. I've driven them for 30 years, and that is their one weakness, that mice and other critters can get into the air filters. No idea why Honda allows this, except maybe their dealerships make so much money on repairs. One friend's car, every time she turned on the heater or AC, would spit seeds into her lap, and the lap of anyone riding in the passenger seat. It was funny for the first time or two. I think they now drive BMWs.

Good luck with the killer kitties. But remember, when you once allow criminals into your life, you have to take the good with the bad. Kitty crime is next. Hopefully, ousting the perpetrators of outrageous acts of violence inside your house will be easier than getting rid of the chipmunk!

I am totally confused.

There is an animal living inside your car? And it floats around the ceiling?

So you bought two cats to solve the problem?

I'm guessing that the chipmunk is hiding under the various fabrics and coverings in the car. I'm also guessing you already tried to catch it/trap it. So how are the cats going to get it?

This may sound really stupid, but I've never had any pets (allergies) so I have visions of a couple of maniac felines shredding the interior of your car to get to their prey.

At any rate - a great story, and I cannot wait to hear the conclusion.

I'd just like to note that the cat in the video? A fake.

Elaine, what are we gonna do with this girl?!!!
Sarah, if you need cat advice, just ask us!
my website is


Love that video! I am terribly allergic to cats and also prone to being attacked by them (unprovoked!) Chipmunks, however, are adorable. I can't wait for the snow to melt (hopefully by June) so I can watch them scamper across my backyard again. Sorry about your car, Sarah, but I'm rooting for the chipmunk on this one.

April 1.


It will change your feelings about the little critters...:)

Try Feline Pine cat litter. It is, essentially, wood stove pellets. It seems to be excellent at absorbing the urine and odor of the litter box. I'm the one with the 320 sq foot house -- I also have two geriatric male cats. My house doesn't smell like cat piss.

It's good you got two females, Sarah, and it's even better they're sisters. Females are usually the better hunters, since they raise the kittens. It's a family survival activity.

Males are made to take territory defend it against other males and reproduce. Un-neutered males leave powerful (!) scent markers. Diabetic cats' urine smells different than non-diabetics' since kidney processes are involved in the disease.

I think the cat in the video was real.

ok, you are all going to think I'm in a rut, but I just have to send you back to Judith's newsletter for a wonderful account of her own cat "The Rat Killer."
She says that just the scent of the cat seems to have persuaded the rodents to leave the premises.
Someone on NPR (maybe Tom and Ray) said that plastic is a real draw to rodents, as there is a protein content -- so does that mean it would be allowed on Atkins?

Holly, I tried a bag of Feline Pine and ended up with a cat at the vets. A former outside cat, she had eaten several of the pellets, which then swelled up inside of her!
I stick with Scoop-Away or Tidyscoop and scoop the boxes twice a day. People are always surprised that my house doesn't smell like cats.
Now, if I could get Morris to quit pulling out his fur.....he's 23 tho, so I figure it's senility!

My dad always judged the quality of a snowblower by how far it could throw a cat.

Sarah, you may be adding to your life expectancy by getting two cats. Check this out --
And if the cats do a good job, reward them with Rita Scott's organic catnip toys.

Um, William? Watching Alvin and the Chipmunks may change her mind only to the extent that she may want to get rid of the little buggers by a(n) WMD that gets rid of herself as well. That movie will make Underdog look like Gone With the Wind.

I'm a Fresh Scent girl misself. And I change it every other day. Tom, you're right about urine odor. Oddly enough, it's not as bad with a diabetic cat. Just more of it.

Everyone makes fun of us for getting two cats, but the shelter - and it's a gorgeous one in Stowe, Vt, where each cat has his/her private mt-top view - was insistent. The two work well together. The sleep on top of each other and one is very protective.

I do think it's a fake cat. Halfway between the cat leaping up and catching the mouse on the fan you can see a slight cut. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

I'm surrounded by chipmunk sympathizers!

I'm not a chipmunk sympathizer! A rodent is a rodent! Those little buggers can tear up a yard as bad as moles and do more damage to gardens.
I have not been 'Disney-fied' by Bambi, Chip&Dale,racoons or mice. Venison is delicious and the rest can be used for target practice!

Rita -- oh, no. I didn't think of them eating it. Yikes.
My 15 and 24 year old males use it as the manufacturer intended, although the older isn't as able to aim as well as when he was younger.

And you all are much more assiduous than I, I change the litter twice a week. Honest -- no smell -- except where Fitch didn't get his rear into the tray.

Sarah, we had this problem one spring, with mice chewing up the car from underneath. The mechanic said they were after the salt residue. He said road salt is like crack to mice. I have no idea if that is true. The idea of jones'd up mice is funny and scary at the same time, but they replaced various eaten up do-hickeys and powerwashed the car from underneath. Didn't even charge us for the powerwashing. I guess that was their way to fight the war on drugs.

Sarah, I noticed that break in the jump also -- I think it's a clever construct.
Rita, I'm with you on venison -- it's tasty stuff and I miss my Minnesota hunter friends and their overflowing freezers. My favorite produce market (Anthony's on Jungerman) sells bison, which is delicious. Someone on a.m. tv said it's higher in protein also, and I'm pretty sure they don't give the bison hormones, either.
I'd have a cat if not for the "4+ on ze scale of 1 to 4" allergy and the subsequent order "You must get rrrid of ze catz!" He recommended getting married and having children instead. . . I haven't managed that -- Do borrowed children count? ('cause it's not nice to borrow husbands)

I guess I'd think the video was more amusing if it didn't have that loud thud at the end...

Granny Sue mentioned road salt on her blog also -- the deer and other critters love it, so there are more of them in the road licking up the salt and getting hit. Hmm, I wonder if there's a way to make it less tasty, as they do with rubbing alcohol. Just a thought.

Sarah, if the cats don't work out, may I recommend a bunny? IN fact, may I recommend MY bunny?

I thought that was your exs' bunny! Still with you and beating the odds, huh?

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