Critter in the Cougar

It was a reasonable day in the Okanagan Valley.  Some clouds but mostly sunshine gave us the option of driving the Cougar XR7.  I avoid rain whenever possible.

We had been invited by some old friends to come for dinner.  We knew them way back when, but lost contact for over 30 years.  Now that the friendship has been renewed, it’s like it never stopped.  What made this dinner invitation special was that two more of Terrie’s old girl friends would be there too, people she hadn’t seen for even more years.

The setting

Those of you who know Kelowna BC can visualize East Kelowna.  For anyone who has never been here, it’s up the mountains above the city, very rural, hobby farms, orchards, a growing number of vineyards and a most challenging golf course called Gallagher’s Canyon.

Our new old friends live in a community right near the entrance to the golf course.  It’s a beautiful drive in the spring, summer and fall but not my first choice in the dead of winter. The Cougar XR7 purred all the way from our home to theirs.  We arrived about 4 and stayed until 10.

Terrie was nervous

When you haven’t seen someone in years, so many things go through your mind. 
  1. What will they look like?  
  2. Will I recognize them?
  3. Will they recognize me?  
  4. Do I look okay?  
  5. Will we have the same connection?  
  6. Will we still have things in common?  
  7. Have they changed much?
Old friends put each other at ease quickly.  They catch up on the in-between years, the good and the bad.  It was an enjoyable evening.  We’ll do it again.

The next morning

Traffic was light on our journey home.  There was nothing amiss as we parked the Cougar XR7 in our garage.  I woke up early, made a pot of coffee and was reading the newspaper such as it is.  I am continually amazed that we willingly pay almost $200.00 per year for the rag called the Kelowna Daily Courier.  It makes for a very expensive crossword puzzle.  

Clunk, bang, clunk!  

I get up and look outside.  It wasn’t the dog but it’s also not unusual to hear noises as the birds around here can be quite large and they do knock about on the roof once in a while.

Clunk, bang, clunk!  

Again, I check outside, front and back.  Still don’t see anything.

Now 9 o’clock

I’m dressed and decide to take out the garbage.  I grab the bags and open the garage door.  As I walk between the Cougar XR7 and our daily driver, I notice bits of drywall on the floor by the corner of the door.  Something tried to chew its way out but hit 2 x 4’s instead of daylight.  On my way back from the garbage cans, I notice bits of leaves and dirt and animal crap about the size of olive pits on the floor under the back end of the Cougar XR7.  Further investigation revealed the source of the clunking and banging.  Something had been on my work bench and had knocked over several spray bottles and cans.  

A critter in the garage

Not the actual critter but looked like this
Before backing the cars out to the driveway in my search for whatever found its way inside, I decided to lift the hood of the Cougar XR7.  Yup, there it was!  Apparently we brought a passenger home from East Kelowna because, curled up in the corner of the engine bay was something brown and furry.  The tail was about 8 inches long and bushy.  Not a squirrel!  More likely it was a small marmot.  

I backed the Cougar onto the driveway, lifted the hood again and banged around with the handle of a broom.  The critter made chirping sounds, dropped to the cement under the car and climbed into the area near the right rear tire.  I started the engine.  The critter scampered out of the wheel well and disappeared into the shrubs.  It's been a long time since I saw Terrie move that fast.  When the critter took off, so did she, into the house in a big hurry. 

And so ends the saga of the critter in the Cougar, except for having to move everything out of the garage and clean up whatever……


  1. That’s great with you now harbouring Murray the Marmot AND all his cousins
    Millie, Mary and Marlo the Moles!

    That was hilarious!


  2. You could have had a new hat!