Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's nice when weekends involve McDonalds AND wild animals

Y'know how some things happen in your life, and your immediate reaction is "Wow, I've gotta blog about that"?

Well, something interesting happened to me on Sunday.
It's a long story, so go grab a beverage or something.
Make a bathroom trip, just to be safe.

Anyway, Sunday I woke up hearing a strange sound, like something was falling or spilling. Assuming that one of the cats had gotten into something, I got up to investigate.

It was coming from the kitchen.
The closer I got, the more I recognized it as the sound of something trapped and struggling.
I also realized it was not a cat, since both cats were in the kitchen right next to me, also transfixed by the disturbance.
The sound was coming from above the stove, in the metal vent-tunnel that leads up to the roof. Something had crawled down into it and gotten stuck.
For awhile I thought it was a mouse, until I heard just how large it sounded. It was either a TON of mice all struggling at once, or something bigger.

Uh, oh, I thought.

There was no way I could get into the vent. And it seemed there was no way the animal could get out.
It kept struggling and pounding louder and louder, more and more persistently.
I opened the cupboard above the stove and saw the metal vent where all the noise was coming from.
I hit the vent a few times with a bottle of SoftScrub cleanser, just to see what would happen.

There was silence for a minute, followed by more of the animal's thumping and pounding.
I pounded back.
Silence again... and then the animal pounded back as if to answer me.

This went on for awhile, back and forth, and in retrospect I realize the animal was getting closer at copying the exact rhythm of my tapping.
Weird, I thought.

My best guess was that it was a squirrel.
I was getting more miserable with every passing minute, wondering what to do. If I just let it die and rot, it would stink up the place something awful. Plus, I'd feel kinda bad about that.
Also, I hate letting people in my house (I'm weird that way, don't ask), and I dreaded the thought of calling pest control for help.

The more I sat and contemplated the situation, the louder the animal's struggles got. It was really throwing itself around in there, bouncing off the metal, thumping and echoing and pounding.

So, I did what any normal person would do.
I left the house and went to McDonald's.

I drank an embarrassing number of Diet Coke refills, wrote some things, and read a few chapters of a good book. I was there for three hours. (My problem-solving skills are totally awesome.)

When I got home, the fun began.

I stepped in the front door and was greeted by a WHOOSHH sound zipping right in front of my face.

It was a dark grey bird.

Going over to the stove, I saw that the bird had made its way down through the vent and found an opening in the bottom, right next to the light bulb on the stove hood. It got out and was now flapping all around my home.

(Now it made sense; some birds are really intelligent and can mimic things. The bird had been copying my tapping earlier.) (!!)

I put the cats in a room by themselves, then I "herded" the bird until it was in the living room (shutting doors behind me so the bird couldn't backtrack). I left the front door wide open and chased the bird around until it finally flew out the open door.


What an ordeal.
Still, it had a happy ending.
The bird got to be free, and I got to avoid the stench of rotten animal carcass in the room where I cook dinner.

What I don't understand is, if it was a bird, and it could fly, why didn't it just fly back up the vent the same way it came in?

I dunno.

Thanks for listening to this extremely long story.
Go have another beverage to reward yourself for making it this far.


Janna said...

(Adrian said: "We have squirrels in the attic, and no way of getting them out.")

Adrian: Hi! Your comment showed up in my e-mail notification, but for some reason it isn't showing up here on the blog. I wanted to answer it anyway, just because I like answering comments. ;)
So, anyway, what do you do? Just let the squirrels live up there? Do they live their whole lives up there and die up there and have baby squirrels up there? What do they eat?

Shelly said...

My parents once had squirrels nesting in an air conditioner, which explained why it had stopped working.

I'm glad your story had a happy ending. For you and the bird.

Janna said...

Shelly: I once had an air conditioner which stopped working, and always wondered if mice were the reason. I never did find out.

nonamedufus said...

Just one thing I can say about this story. "I'm loving' it".

Janna said...

nonamedufus: LOL. :)