One morning this week I crawled into my Jeep Wrangler, turned the key and the starter churned away, turning the engine over while the motor didn’t fire.

The gas gauge read empty but I had filled the tank just two days before and put less than 25 miles on the car since.

Had someone siphoned gas from the tank while the car set idle for a couple of days? Not likely. But I had five gallons in the gas can for the mower so I put it in the tank. The gauge still read empty and the car still wouldn’t start. Something wrong somewhere.

I had to be in court by 9 a.m. to cover the day’s proceedings for the Floyd Press so I took Amy’s Liberty to town. The Wrangler is still under warranty and I called their Roadside Assistance number and had the car towed to Turman-Yeatts for repair.

The diagnosis: Something with four legs and sharp teeth chewed through the wiring leading to my fuel pump and gas gauge.  Problem solved. Wiring fixed. Jeep running again.

Carnivorous beasts, however, are not covered by Jeep’s warranty so I parted with $88 and change,  Turman-Yeatts owner Andrew Lewis says a lot of their customer’s cars come in with electric wiring eaten away by small critters, usually ground squirrels.

Of course, if we kept the Wrangler in the garage where it belonged this wouldn’t have happened but like so many Floyd County garages ours is, at the moment, full of other things.