Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Home Invasions at the House That Crazy Built...

Yay! I didn't get eaten by a possum!

Although, you are forgiven for perhaps thinking that I had - it's been mighty quiet here in CookieLand since I last checked in, all traumatized and such. However, I think you'll understand when you read about the host of visitors (some welcome, some not so much) that have been dropping by the House That Crazy Built in the last few days...

Let's begin with the possum...

When last I spoke with you: it was evening and I'd barricaded people and cats upstairs, possum(s?) down in the basement. The next morning I woke up and called Animal Control the second they opened for business.

Not real helpful, my Animal Control.

Seems they really only exist to enforce leash laws.
And, if you've ever spent any time at all in the park near my house, you would see that they are not particularly good at that. I'm not complaining, I don't mind the dogs. I'm just sayin'...

That leaves two options: a "wildlife removal" service, or the D-I-Y route. Since I am the cheapest woman on the planet, and since Sarah pointed out that many of these services advertise that they have "Financing Available", I decided to go with rolling up my sleeves and taking care of business myself.

So - I go downstairs, and try to find the possum again.
And I can't.
Surely PossumBaby didn't just leave of his own accord???? Then I realize that he's a possum. And therefore, nocturnal. So, wherever he is, he's sleeping.
I decide that I'll look again at night.

In the meantime, I put both the Things down in the basement. Hoping that if PossumBaby wakes up and smells "cat" - he'll hightail it out of there lickety-split.

And - since I feel some guilt at essentially ignoring the fact that there's a wild animal *inside my house*, I roll up my sleeves, and I get to work - tackling the embarrassing sty that my house has become.
This will seem both important, and prophetic, given upcoming events...

Evening comes. The house hasn't looked this tidy/clean in... definitely months, if not years. I put Schecky to bed and go downstairs for a PossumBaby hunt. Still can't find it. Is this the one time in history that the "ignore it and it'll go away" strategy has actually worked????

Wake up the next morning - still seem to be possum free! Yay! No one in the house who's not supposed to be. I fix Scheck some breakfast, and walk with him to the camp he's attending. I come home, and as I walk in the front door I notice that the Things are staring avidly into the fireplace.

Too avidly.

There's a bird in there. He's trapped behind the fireplace screen.

We have chimney swifts who build a nest in the chimney every summer. They're really cool little birds - they eat about a bazillion mosquitoes and only stay in Atlanta between the months of April and October. Then they fly to Peru. Like I say, they're neat little birds and I am always excited when they return and nest in the chimney.

In. the. chimney.
NOT in the house.

Long story longer - I lock the Things away, put on my industrial strength work gloves (which were purchased after the Great Bleaching Incident of '07) and catch me a bird. A shoe box and much squealing were involved.

Bird In A Box

Such a cutie!

The shoe box was one of Schecky's - he seems to collect them. I really just grabbed the first one that I could find, but I was fortunate in that it had - for some reason - a little porthole cut into the side of it. Once I got BirdBaby out of the house, he showed no sign of wanting to leave the box. He just stuck his little bird head out of the porthole and watched everything intently...

Chimney Swift

I'm happy with how this was all resolved, too - after calling a bird rescue organization I was put in touch with a lovely, lovely woman named Erika - who hand-raises chimney swifts that have fallen out of their nests. And she just lives in the next neighborhood over! She came over, and got BirdBaby and took him home where she added him to the brood of TWENTY SIX that she's already caring for!
Funny note: at one point when I was speaking to her, and we were talking about what to do with BirdBaby - she said "I'm already taking care of 26. What's one more?" Oh, how I had to bite my tongue to keep from blurting out "Ummmm - 27?"
I figure you really don't want to sass the nice lady who you hope will take a bird off your hands...

I Don't Think These Shoes Are Quite Right For That Foot

So, I'm seemingly rid of possums, and baby birds both.
Wonder what the universe has in store for me next???

The answer came quickly: a plague of houseguests!

Actually, I'm kidding.

About the "plague" part, at least - because there were houseguests galore! But much to my delight and surprise, I really enjoyed them all. Which is strange, given my curmudgeonly and socially awkward tendencies. Typically, I do fear company like normal people fear the plague.

We entertained Bubba's parents - who decided to come into town on the spur of the moment, we got to spend some great time with our friend, the actor, between his performances at the Fox. And the biggest delight of them all was getting to meet up with my best friend from high school the amazing GeekyMom, and her family. We didn't do anything fancy - just called out for pizza, but I had the nicest time with Ms.Geeky and her whole GeekyFamily.
Actually, GeekyMom was stopping in town on her way to defend her dissertation today. By the time you read this, she'll be Dr.GeekyMom! Yay!

So the past several days have been a whirlwind - all of it good (well, with the notable exception being fretting about the PossumBaby...)

It's weird, I really am very hermit-like and I so often feel really uncomfortable around people. And if I'm supposed to be"hosting" or "entertaining"? Forgetaboutit - that just ups the angst even more - worrying about what I'm doing wrong, or what a "good hostess" would be doing... Ugh.

To my delight and surprise, there was none of that this weekend. Maybe it was just too busy too fret. Maybe this is a sign that I'm actually not as awkward or as hermit-y as I think I am. Who knows.

All I know is that when I sat down to eat lunch today - the first meal that I have eaten without "company" of some sort since Thursday - and instead of thinking "Thank God, I'm finally alone" (which is the kind of thing I usually think) I thought "I had fun this weekend..."

I need to remember that the next time the prospect of entertaining comes up...

And speaking of entertaining? I hope everyone's 4th of July is exactly that!



bekka said...

wow. so much drama at your house. i can't believe the possum is gone. where could it be?

and your swift was lovely, what a grand home the shoe box made. there's a great reason not to throw them out. i can't. have quite a collection of them. they're good for storing things in.

financing available for pest removal? oh, you don't say!?

so glad your company is gone and you have your home to yourself again.

Sarah and Jack said...

Ok, I am laughing about the possum. BUT, I have issues. Where is it? How did it get in or out? If it is in there what is it eating?!?!?!

Maybe you need to set a trap just in case. (A no kill trap, of course.)

autum said...

I'm tired just reading that. I have to completely disagree about your claims of social awkwardness. I've met you and you are completely charming and delighful. Not even a tiny bit awkward or curmudgenonly.
Back to baby possum though, I am thinking like Sarah, where is he? Usually possum litters are quite large. Not to frighten you or anything, but do you think he was alone?

Thimbleanna said...

Line me up behind Sarah and Autum. (That's for protection when the possum appears.) You're admirably calm given that you don't know where he is! I'd be hanging around imagining him having baby possums in my basement -- therefore, you're better equipped to deal with the mystery possum affair than I am! Now you need a BIG vacation. Happy 4th!

laeroport said...

We had a squirrel come down the chimney once. The two cats were chasing it around like crazy and Tim had just come out of the shower in his towel. And he was the only one home. Hilarity ensued.

Happy 4th.

beki said...

Hoowee! That sounds exhausting!! I'm glad that you enjoyed it all ;-)

Big Pissy said...

That post made me so tired....

but I'm glad it all turned out okay and you had a good time! ;-)

Katkat said...

Oh my gosh! Busy lady, I didn't know you ran a zoo.lol I had a cat issue at the beach and the aniamal people are lots of no help.

Kim said...

Oh my gosh, your exciting week had me giggling. I'm like you, if I can't find the wild animal in the house, I'm just going to live in oblivion & assume that its not there (I tried this with a snake that appeared in our basement a few years ago & it hasn't shown up since). You are really brave to catch the bird--I would have been terrified. And, would have made my husband come home, post-haste, to take care of it :)

TinkerBlue said...

Now I am exhausted. And there is absolutely no way I could have dealt with the possum or the bird on my own. I'm too chicken.

Glad to hear all is back to normal in Cookieland.

3 to get ready said...

Um, not to be all anti-bird and all that, but ew, ewww, EWWWWWW! Can't stand birds in the home. Or more specifically, in my home. Like I said here. I think that was mighty nice of you to find it a good home.

And I'm so glad you had nice visits with people. Let's hear it for good friends!

Oh yeah, and did I mention, EEEEWWWWWWW!!

rohanknitter said...

Never a dull moment, eh? What IS it with the wildlife that can't stay out in the wild? Those are some great pictures of that baby bird.

My issue with guests is the food. I never know what I should feed them. I drive myself crazy trying to figure out menus. It's pretty nutty!
Glad you enjoyed your guests!!

Laura said...

So, so good to see you. I'm sorry we missed the critters. :)

You're hereby invited to invade our house any time--even spend the whole night. Thanks so much for entertaining us. We had a great time!

Chara Michele said...

Sounds like quite a crazy week! That bird is so cute:) (And I am wondering where that possum went now!)