2008-04-25

Black and blue and squirrelly all over


I had a doctor's appointment over the lunch hour last week and, afterwards, decided to pop home for a moment.

I was distressed to find a rather large black squirrel lying quite dead in the middle of my winding driveway, just a few paces from the moat that surrounds the observatory.

Did I forget to pay the Italian taxes on ESI's global headquarters? I wondered. Is this how the good fathers of Tuscany remind Canadian residents their payments are overdue?

I fork over a lot of property taxes in this country, too.

Now is the chance,
I thought, for the City of Ottawa to make up for its lacklustre, sporadic and altogether uninspired snow-removal efforts on my Centretown street.

After all, the squirrel, though on my driveway, was actually on city property, which extends several metres inward from the curb. And you can't be too careful, right? West Squirrel Virus may be running amok, infecting the downtown core.

I dialled 311 and after a little push-button menu-manoeuvring was duly assured a city roads crew would come pick up my ex-rodent friend. It was dark when I got home, so I didn't notice till the next day that someone, likely a neighbour, had simply moved the squirrel slightly to the right, atop a small stone ledge that borders my driveway.

Another call to the city. Yes, at this point I could have bagged the fluffy-tailed critter (sorry, Coyote) myself. But it was the principle of the thing. Again I was told the squirrel would be gone by day's end. No such luck.

Day Three: yet another call, and another promise. But as of suppertime Friday, my open-air squirrel cemetery was still thriving. Call four: I was told a supervisor would phone me shortly to advise when the road crew would arrive. An hour passed. Still nothing.

Finally, I walked outside with a plastic bag, grabbed a shovel and scooped the poor animal inside, then disposed of him as nobly as I could under the circumstances. Death is never pretty. And the whole thing made me a little sad.

I called the city for the fifth time. Don't bother coming, I said. It didn't seem right to make the squirrel, or me, wait any longer.

Photo: Squirrel, not exactly as illustrated.


4 comments:

the Chair said...

I had the same problem with the city when my pop died.

zoom said...

Carcass pickup is every other Friday.

Harmony said...

There you go Chairy, that explains it. Your pop should have waited for an alternate Friday.

Conch Shell said...

This is all very sad