Have I mentioned before that the Pittsburgh Public School Transportation system is a clusterf*^k at best? At best! This is important information as I prepare to tell the second chapter of our groundhog adventure.
When I got the permit to trap the varmint, I was specifically told not to set the trap outside of office hours for Animal Control. Their office hours are 730am-330pm M-F. So, basically, I assumed I’d set the trap in the morning when I got up and un-set it before I left to get Miles from the bus stop.
We’ve been shoving all sorts of treats in this cage to entice the groundhog. Something sure has been getting in there and eating the food, but not setting off the trap. This morning, for the first time, I didn’t feel rage when I saw Felix’s dinner plate still sitting on our table.
“Boys!” I shouted. “Take Felix’s dinner out back and put it in the groundhog trap.”
And so they stomped out back and carefully arranged hours-old zucchini fries and lemon chicken on the trigger thingy. When Felix didn’t eat his breakfast, Miles shoved the scrambled eggs and pretzel roll in there, too.
I forgot to look at the trap and I certainly forgot to unset it at 330. In fact, at 330, I was busy cramming Oren’s screaming, stiff body into the front seat of the double stroller. Then, I was busy cramming Felix’s sobbing body into the back seat of the double stroller and jamming shoes on his feet and arranging his Eric Carle umbrella.
I felt like I needed to be at the bus stop right at the time the city told me his bus was due home (4:03pm) on the minute chance it worked out. I shudder to think what would happen if my kiddo got off the bus alone at this insane intersection.
So, off I huffed, to wait in the rain for a half hour.
When we finally got home, we saw this in the back yard:
This is not the brazen ground hog who looked me in the eye and shat in my yard. This is, like, his grandson or something. He wasn’t even angry. My friend who loaned me the trap said he’d get angry and poop. He just sat there.
He continued to sit there as my children “examined” him. There was pretty much nothing I could do to keep them away from this cage. At one point, Felix climbed out the mud room window after I locked the back door. Moths to a flame, I’m telling you.
And, of course, Animal Control was not open at 430 when we got home from the damn bus stop. I called all sorts of people. I called Animal Rescue League’s wildlife division. I called 911…which I’m not super proud of. Thankfully (??), they didn’t answer.
Eventually, I got through to someone in communications, who said they would dispatch Animal Control to my house. Soon after, 2 men came and dumped this guy into their own cage and drove off with him to be euthanized.
Now. I’m going to load Felix’s uneaten tomatillo chicken enchilada casserole into the trap in the morning and see if I can’t catch the brazen hog.
Side note: I somehow got the idea they just drove the ground hog off somewhere and released him, which I understand now is ridiculous. I asked the animal control guys whether they release the hogs or just euthanize them, and they got very snippy with me. “Do you want me to just set it free, ma’am?” You can probably feel this man’s eyes rolling at me right now, can’t you?