I shouldn’t laugh…
“A family today told how a squirrel went berserk and trashed their house after falling down their chimney.
Retired engineer Alan White, 67, and his wife Janice, 65, came home from a weekend away to find their lounge had been ransacked, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The couple initially feared burglars had broken into their home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, but the culprit was found to be a squirrel which had left sooty paw prints all over the room.
The trapped rodent had tried chewing through the window frames and tore the curtain and settee to shreds in a desperate bid to escape.
The couple’s 38-year-old son found the lifeless body of the squirrel behind the settee.
‘Once we realised that we looked more carefully for damage and saw the settee, which was quite a nice one, had been ripped and gnawed,’ said Mr White.
‘Of course, the squirrel had been covered in soot falling down the chimney and everything, even the light on the ceiling, had been covered with soot by him.
‘The curtains on both sides of the window had been torn to shreds and he had torn a big hole in the carpet.’
Mr White said he and his wife had been to the International Balloon Fiesta in Bristol with their grandson Shaun, 13, and were greeted by the scene of carnage when they arrived back.
‘There were pot plants and ornaments strewn across the room and we immediately thought someone had broken in. But my wife pointed out that the doors were still locked,’ he added.
Mr White said the squirrel had even tried to chew its way through the aluminium frame of the patio doors.
The family are relieved that the lounge doors were closed, preventing the trapped creature from running amok around their entire house.
The couple have been in contact with their insurance firm about the damage, and the lounge will have to be completely redecorated after the squirrel’s rampage.
Mr White said he was now thinking about getting a chimney cowl fitted.
An RSPCA spokesman said the incident was very unusual. ‘We’ve heard of birds getting into houses but never a squirrel getting down a chimney. It’s unfortunate for the family – and the squirrel,’ he said.”
(Via The Guardian.)
…but I did!