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.