In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!


Friday, February 13, 2015

There Are Monsters Under Our House...

We had a new heat/air conditioning unit installed last week. It only took them a few hours to remove the old unit and install the new one, but they had to cut to size the material they used to enclose the unit flush with the house. So for several days there was a open space into the crawl space. We didn't think anything about it until after they had been back to cover the opening. 

That very evening Emmy, our Jack Russell Terrier, began acting crazy. Racing around through the house from room to room frantically sniffing and barking at the floors. Something was under the house and by gawd she wanted it! ROM opened up the entrance to the crawl space, looked around with a flashlight but couldn't see any critters. Emmy wasn't convinced. 

Every evening right at sunset, Emmy would begin her frantic floor scratching and barking. Something was driving her nuts and she was driving us nuts. We thought maybe a mouse or a snake had gotten in while the air conditioning unit had been left open. Perhaps the $6000 we paid for the new unit included a free pet. 

Saturday night I became convinced that whatever was under the house was a helluva lot bigger than a mouse. I was sitting in my favorite living room chair watching TV when I suddenly heard something thumping under my chair below the floor. A chorus of Emmy barking and my screaming brought ROM running. Once again, he opened up the crawlspace, looked around with a flashlight and swore he saw nothing. Emmy and I knew better...

Then Sunday evening ROM heard something banging around under the house, so Emmy and I were vindicated. Now he was convinced we were right and there had to be something down there. Now how to get it out? Our first attempt was leaving the crawlspace open over night in hopes that it would leave on it's own. ROM was up and had the opening closed before the sun came up the next morning. We had high hopes the mysterious critter had left during the night

As Monday evening approached we anxiously waited to see how Emmy acted. Sure enough, as soon as the sun set her shrill barking and frantic scratching at the floor started again. I reminded ROM that our marriage vows didn't include living with a wild animal under our home. 

Tuesday ROM came home with one of those humane live traps and several cans of cat food. Of course I had to over think it, as I tend to do with everything, and brought up the possibility that the critter was a vegetarian. He gave me an exasperated look as he told me the critter under the house probably wasn't concerned with the evils of animal farming or a member of PETA. Anyway, he set the trap baited with a can of cat food and stuck it under the house. As the sun set, Emmy started in again, running from room to room but completely ignoring the area where the trap was set. Just before going to bed, ROM went out with a flashlight, opened the crawlspace and found that the can of cat food was empty but the cage was still set and wide open. Damn damn damn! He said he'd bait it again the next night and try again. 

The next morning after I got back with the dogs from their morning walk, Emmy became fixated on the area where the cage was under the house. She whined, clawed and sniffed most of the day. No way in hell I was looking under the house. Whatever it was, I wasn't going to be the one to drag it out. 

As soon as ROM got home, he opened the crawl space up and there in the cage was the monster who had been terrorizing me and driving Emmy crazy. The hungry critter had gone back into the cage to lick the empty can and finally tripped the lock. After ROM removed the cage from the crawlspace he called me outside to see the monster... it was a pitiful frightened butt ugly opossum. It was so terrified I didn't even take the time to get a photo of it before ROM walked it down to the end of the street and turned it loose in wooded area with a creek. He said the poor thing was so eager to get away it did a somersault down the bank, swam across the creek and hauled ass. And now Emmy is back to her relaxing evenings curled up in her chair... 


  1. It's so good to see you blogging again, ROH. I know last year was hard for you but I've sure missed your writing. I hope your enjoying a warm sunny winter in paradise while the rest of us freeze up north. I'm really ready for spring this year.

  2. Such a treat to have you blogging again. ROH has her groove back! Poor Emmy must have been so tormented knowing there was a opossum under your house and no way to get to it. I've seen your pics of her killing snakes but taking on an opossum is a different story Those things have teeth like needles and claws.

    1. Oops. I forgot to add my name to my comment- it's Pam

  3. You do seem to have more than your share of problems with wildlife. I remember your funny stories about the prostitute duck laying eggs in your flower beds and the duck rapes when you lived up north. Thank god the opossum didn't get in your house- Sue
    PS Glad you're blogging again. I missed you.

  4. So happy you're blogging again! Poor Emmy!


  5. Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome back! I'm determined to make this a good year and be an active participant in life again. I appreciate you've all stuck with me and waited for me to start blogging again. You're all the best!

  6. so glad you're back - love the picture did u paint it??

  7. Thanks, Bluesinger. Yes, I painted it- acrylic on canvas.


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