I don't do a whole lot of attic crawling, but the other day I was helping to pull some coax through a particularly wretched attic (unfortunately, this day, I drew the short straw and got the attic end of the pull..) and saw the first live spider- or live anything, for that matter- that I have ever seen in an attic. I am no etymologist, but it was a brown colored little bugger, and since I live in the same geographic zone as the notorious brown recluse spider, I was more than happy to watch him scamper away, off into the shadows and insulation. Seeing a live *anything* in an attic for the first time got me paying extra attention for the rest of the pull for whatever other creatures might be slinking around up there. Does anyone keep records of how many guys are injured/put out of work by things like stings from poisonous insects, dog bites or whatever.. Anyone else have any "critter stories", good or bad?
My wife (AKA my favorite builder) was bit by a rat when she was in the HVAC business. She was proposing a system and got bit when she reached up over the bottom chord of the truss at the attic scuttle to climb up there. There was a nest tucked up close to the hole, enjoying the conditioned air.
She also got in trouble for throwing a snake into a truck when her tech ran there to get away from the frozen snake under a freon leak. Needless to say, the snake wasn't dead and it woke up. She had to get it out of his truck for him before he would go back.
This is her taping the mouth of a gator that was running around the job site.
Re: Critter Stories#55936 09/10/0504:12 AM09/10/0504:12 AM
Critter story 1: Troubleshooting a short found that a length of romex in the wall had high resistance phantom like load, and intermittant short? Wierd! Not quite open, not quite closed, and wierd load? So the only real way to fix it was open the wall, and re-do this short link, so I did. Found a rat maybe a week dead, with scorched jaws locked on to the romex. The skin of the romex he was trying to peel off to build its nest was burning back from the arcing.
Critter story 2: Putting plugs at old remote farm house, myself and another guy are taking tuns under the house in a tight crawl space. One drills the hole, the other pushes the wire up. Near the end of the day, one more plug to go, I'm upstairs tapping on the floor for the other guy to find the hole. He comes over the radio, "I found the hole, and theres a snake here." - "A snake?" - "Yes, a snake!" He waits for a while, anbd then tells me the snake is either sleeping or dead, not sure. He's gonna try to slip the wire by the snake into the hole, and get out of there. Then I hear the rattling through the floor, and scuffling. It settles down and I'm calling the guy on the radio, he then springs from the crawl space hole in the closet. "Thats it I thing that enough for today!" He then tells me of his fight with a 4' rattle snake. He tried to slip the wire past the snake, and it woke up, bit the wire, and started toward him, so he slapped it with the romex a few times, and made a hasty retreat. Left his radio, and the rest of his tools right there. We called out Animale control, who said no way they were going down there to get it, "you'll have to wait for Spring for it to come out of hibernation, it will eventually come out." Customer had to wait almost four months to get the last outlet, and my buddy to get his tools back.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
A very good friend is over for a vacation with us right now. Last year, he took pity on an old stray cat which was hanging round his house, feeding it etc.. The cat was obviously ill, so he decided to catch it for a trip to the vet, whereapon it bit his hand. The hand got infected, antibiotics failed to work, so he went to hospital for an operation to clean the wound out. A routine blood test revealed he had unknowingly had a heart attack sometime in his sleep, and further tests revealed very serious problems. After a quadruple bypass earlier this summer, he is now making a full recovery. So that cat bite probably saved his life. Sadly the old cat died of the same infection, as it was uncatchable.
At our utility, I was asked to take a replacement transformer out to a job site where the line crew was. The damaged transformer was in the pasture, and there was a young, but full grown Brahman bull that kept getting curious as to what we were doing. All the guys on the crew are ranchers, so they just kept shooing him away everytime he got too close. When the job was done, we all went to our trucks to leave.
As soon as I got into my truck, the bull "mounted" the hood of the truck and proceeded to have his way with the radiator. There was a hoof on the left side of the windshield, another on the right, and this huge head with horns, a drooling tongue, and eyes rolled up into its head about 12 inches from my face. The truck is bouncing up and down like a roller coaster.
Oh yeah, and there were also about 8 linemen literally rolling on the ground, laughing at me....asking, "Why don't you get out??"
Needless to say, they made sure the entire utility knew about it within the hour. The only good thing about that was I didn't have to explain the dents in the hood.
I've been run out of a pasture by a llama (in the dark they're 12 feet tall and have fangs), played ring around the meter pole with another bull, had a half grown Bengal tiger (the customers pet)come running across the yard to meet me, dodged several snakes, and had a friend step on an alligator while walking out a line at night.
Never a dull moment at a rural utility!
Re: Critter Stories#55941 09/13/0512:20 AM09/13/0512:20 AM
got a couple here, first is troubleshooting a non-working outlet we find that a squirrel living in the attic had managed to chew through the entire hot wire, in another attic glue traps everywhere, all with 1 or two dead mice
Dead rats all the time. One time found a mumified Rat. Litteraly mumified. All the skin was still on, no furr, eye sockets open, i could actually see inside the empty body through the eye openings.it was in a perfect condiotion. I brought it out for my helper and the customer to see and the customer decided to keep it in a shoe box for her 12 year old nephew.
Found a dead rat mom and a baby tucked under floor insulation. I guess they were trying to take insulation off of romex and shorted the wires and POOF they were toasted.
I found a mouse skeleton in very good condition in an attic. I glued it to a small board, encased it in a clear plastic box and took it to my daughter's elementary school class (years ago). They still have it.