Friday, August 1, 2014

Our Unwelcome Guest

A couple of days ago I walked into our bedroom and heard scratching noises in the chimney/smoke chamber of our fireplace. It sounded like a fairly large animal, about the size of a raccoon, and seeing that my parents had a family of raccoons living in their chimney a few years ago I figured it was the most likely scenario. I remembered how my dad trapped the raccoon and as he pointed the end of the gun in the cage, the raccoon bit and scraped the metal off from the tip of the gun. Needless to say, I was scared out of my wits. However, I figured that it was towards the top of the chimney and it certainly couldn't get down to the base and into our apartment. That night Ryan came home to inspect but we couldn't hear any noises anymore so we figured the raccoon had gone out for the night.

The next day Norah and I were playing in the backyard when I heard Lucy on the baby monitor waking up from her nap about an hour earlier than expected. Truthfully, I was a little bit annoyed that she was waking up so early, but then when I walked into our room to get her, I realized that the raccoon had indeed made its way down to the base and had the opportunity to push the door open and into the house. I quickly grabbed Lucy, Norah, and anything I needed from the room and scrambled out of there. I called Ryan and he told me to put something heavy in front of the door. I was completely terrified to go back in there as I was sure I would be attacked and killed by the vicious beast. So I did what any rational human being would do in this situation...I cried. It didn't help that moments after that I noticed a spider lurking about in the corner and I realized I wasn't safe in any part of the house. But I figured it probably wouldn't help to sit on the couch and cry, so I found a heavy box and mustered up the courage to go back in there and block the door to the fireplace. 
Fast forward a couple of hours to when Ryan got home and both girls were sleeping. It took us about 30 minutes to slowly gain confidence of opening the door to the fireplace enough to get a flashlight in and see the mangy animal. We could see feathers lying around (only confirming to us that it was a raccoon which had brought back a dead bird). We tried several times to aim the light so we could see what was moving around in there. Then, suddenly, we saw it. But it wasn't a raccoon--It was a bird.

In our defense, the bird had made no chirping noises this whole time and as it scratched, pecked, and hopped around on the metal, it magnified the sound making it seem like a big animal. I was so completely relieved that it was only a bird, and that we could take care of it ourselves instead of calling animal control (which is ridiculously pricey, by the way). So we grabbed a box for it to climb into and took it outside to let it free.

Once we opened the box it just kind of hung around for a bit, which was so nice of him since I wanted to snap a couple of pictures. Don't be fooled though, he sounds a lot more vicious than he looks.


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. I wouldn't have just cried, but screamed in surprise, been shaking, and peed a little (at least). Way to be levelheaded in that situation. That is terrifying, and with my paranoia, I would have thought it was a bear. :) Glad it was only a bird. What a relief!

  2. I have had this happen to me several times! I had a chimney repair guy come out and fix the hole in our vent and even though we haven't had it happen in a few years, I still freak out when the kids open up the fireplace door. Those birds can make a huge, scary racket! Glad it wasn't a raccoon!