Feral Cats Eating Chicken Delight

I’ve dealt with feral cats eating my chickens in the past, but never to this extent.  It’s usually one maybe two A YEAR and usually by a dog, raccoon, or a skunk; I’ve never lost five chickens in two weeks to cats of all things.  I’ve seen them in the field behind my house a couple times in the past and they’ll breed and have kittens then run around, they’ve probably killed a chicken or two in the past, but usually they aren’t too much of a problem, until now.  Given it’s a little snowy around here so the food isn’t as easy to come by, but their little paw prints decorate the ground around my chicken coop telling me they’ve been hatching this plan for a while.  It wasn’t four days ago when I walked out to fill the water in the coop, that I watched on of the bigger cats crouch outside the door, wait for the hen, and pounce on her as she came outside!

Well I’ll tell you what, until these damned cats are gone, my chickens are staying right inside the coop, and my husband is building a run, one that’s fenced in too!  I won’t stand by and watch these feral cats eat my chickens or my name isn’t Angela.  I’m not only upset about this for the sentimental reasons that you’d be upset about losing a dog or cat, I mean I am of course, but do you know how much eggs cost these days!  If nothing else my chickens save me plenty of money by producing eggs for me.  Now half of them are dead and the other half are too scared to do any laying!  I had to go buy a dozen to make my grandmother a meatloaf just yesterday, and I am not very happy about it.

So, rather than replace the chickens (which I will do sooner or later) and watch these stupid feral cats eat them, I’m going to step up my game.  Not only will I have a fenced in run by next week, but I’m going to call Wildlife Removal, or any other trapping company that will take care of the pesky feline’s (I’d try the Human Society but they’d just be excited the cats were alive!).  Maybe I’ll even buy that Chocolate Lab pup my husband has been eyeing for a good six months.  Whatever happens it’ll be soon and it’ll be effective.  I’m not going to just watch the feral cats eat my chickens, I’m going to do something about it.

Bats in the Theatre

I started working at a movie theatre for one reason: girls; not to deal with bats in the theatre.  In Drake and Josh, Drake was constantly picking up girls at the movies, so I figured why not make money and get lots of phone numbers; it seemed perfect until I realized that girls go to the movies only in three cases.  With her family, with her friends, and with her date.  None of which are times when I feel comfortable approaching them, so I left it to them to approach me.  BAD IDEA.  I guess in a way the bats in the theatre helped my game, because until then girls didn’t look twice at me unless it was for extra butter or a refill.

It was a gloomy Tuesday, no sun and no luck with a single female (no surprise), I was on the lowly duty of sweeping up popcorn and collecting garbage, yippee!  When I had that job, credit watchers were my worst enemy; they stayed until the screen went black and there’s really nothing left to see, and man is it awkward.  That night, however, it was a group of teenagers (mostly girls) and they were doing more talking then watching so I just swept around them, and then it happened.  The bats flew down from the ceiling and you’d have thought someone fired a gun they moved so quickly for cover, to my surprise, one girl screamed and jumped into my arms.  I stumbled but held onto her. As the bat made a sudden turn our way I lifted my broom and smacked it.  I felt like Prince Charming, I had just defeated the dragon and now to rescue the princess.  I led the shivering girl to the hall where she whimpered and thanked me, then promptly left.  No score for the good guy.

Unfortunately my good deed held no “true loves first kiss” and I was left to deal with the mess.  Now not only did I have to go back in the bat room to finish cleaning, but I had to call the manager and, from there on out, contact all the Wildlife Removal companies.  Shortly thereafter I handed in my two weeks and got out of that bat cave.  Surely there have to be easier ways to get a date than saving someone from the bats in the Ttheatre, because this was not my forte.

Scratching in the Attic

Nothing can keep you awake at night like scratching in the attic.  This whole catastrophe started a few nights ago, at first I thought it was just the dog scratching at my door to get in, but then I realized he was laying at the end of the bed, and he was snoring.  Bewildered, I laid back down, looked up at the stars on my ceiling, and let my imagination run wild.  As an avid reader and writer, the smallest of sounds, smells, or feelings, can become a drastic event in my head. Once, I convinced myself there was a hurricane outside when really my fan was on, an intruder in my house when really my dog was still inside.  All these little, insignificant things can be blown out of proportion, and man did I blow this sound in the attic way up.

As I listened to the scratching from the attic, I played the possible scenarios through my head.  A homeless man taking refuge in the small room (I saw that in CSI once), a vampire waiting for me to fall asleep so he can suck my blood like in Twilight, maybe my future self-came back in time to stop me from making a horrible mistake like in Back to the Future!  All of these wild thoughts made me both excited and nervous so I grabbed the little Yorkie from his dreams and ran downstairs. I decided it was safest if I slept near the phone; and on the couch.

Despite my best efforts (and my Lunesta) I received no more than four hours of sleep that night, five at the most.  This continued for a day or two until we get to now, today in fact, and today I refuse to lumber into work with circles around my eyes like a raccoon (which makes me think maybe it’s a raccoon?).  So I’ll take action.  I’ll search through all of the Google pages, call every number in the phone book, I would even move out for a couple of days if I need to.  I’ll pay anyone and anything, whatever they ask if they can get rid of whatever is causing the scratching in the attic.

Mole Hole

Yesterday while walking through my yard, I fell into a mole hole.  It was like that dream you have where you’re falling, and falling, and falling, and then you wake up, except I only fell for a second and I didn’t wake up, it was real life; although I didn’t exactly know what a mole hole looked like, so I wasn’t really sure whose hole it was.  Pulling out my inner Sherlock Holmes, I did a little digging (figuratively, I didn’t want to meet the owner of the hole) and discovered that it was very likely possible to belong to a mole.  A silly, blind little mole had dug a hole that looked just like a bowl (I’m Dr. Seuss!).

Well now that I had stumbled on such a catastrophe, I couldn’t look away from it, especially since it was conveniently locating behind my wife’s tulips that she had taken the time to neatly plant, and were now being killed off due to this stupid mole hole!  She would never forgive me for letting those plants die without a fight so, hesitantly, I’ll take my stand against this blatantly brave pest.

Not by myself of course, a good knight always has his trusty steed, and mine is a nice handy dandy mole trap.  Big, shiny, and everything else a man could want.  This mole has fought well, but you know what they say. “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us,” and so he has to go.  Farewell, Adios, Aloha, Au Revoir, Sayōnara; this has been fun but I’m done.  It’s not me, it’s you; I hope you had fun in the mole hole while it lasted.

Something in the Air Vents

We were snuggled down ready to watch 50 First Dates when we heard it, something in the air vents. I was excited for date night, but there was nothing more I wanted to do than get out of the house when I heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet running underneath the floor. At first I thought it the air vent was broken, that’s how loud and disruptive the scratching and clicking was, but after we stopped and really paid attention, there’s no doubt it’s some sort of animal down there. As soon as I realized what was making the noise, I stomped all around the kitchen floor. I must have sounded like Dumbo jumping up and down as loud as I could, trying to scare it out of my house, but I guess it was no use. Later that night when I was getting water, I heard it again and choked on the water in my throat. After the near death experience, I drew the line. You could ruin date night and intrude on my privacy, but you can’t try to kill me! Whatever’s in those air vents better hide, and hide well.
After staying up all night doing research, I’ve decided it’s a rat, or maybe a mouse or even a squirrel; some sort of little rodent crawling around down there. I’m still not sure what it is but it’s definitely one of those three, I hope. If it’s any bigger than that I might have to just move somewhere else, most likely somewhere sunny and warm where animals don’t crawl into your air duct for warmth. I put out a trap the day after I first heard it, but it’s been almost a week and it’s getting more active! Instead of just running around in the evenings and at night like it was, it always seems to be awake! The problem is that I’m leaving for Switzerland tomorrow and don’t have time to get someone down here, how do I get rid of this thing in the air vents?!

Backseat Driver

I was recently reminded of a time a few years back when I had an unexpected backseat driver. Reading an article about a large Boa Constrictor that had snuck its way on to a MTA bus and caught a ride into Brooklyn before the bus driver noticed him (no one said anything before that!). While I was chuckling at the image of Nagini from Harry Potter eating poor people on the bus, I remembered the story I’m going to share with you, but you can probably guess what it’s about.
Back in 2008, some buddies and I took a road trip up to Moab to do some camping, fishing, off-roading, and drinking; the perfect guys weekend. It gave us all the chance to get away from our kids, wives, and any other chaos in our lives (I love my wife, and my kids are my world, but I just needed three days to be me!), and man were we excited; it felt just like we were 17 again! As soon as we pulled into the KOA (I know it’s not very rugged but I’m not as young as I used to be) we left our stuff on site and took off again, we planned to do a few easy hikes to get all settled in, then fish in the morning. This all isn’t really important so I’ll skip to the end.
After our wild weekend, we were all burnt to a crisp, hungover, and ready to get home, three days can have a huge effect on you when you aren’t a teenager anymore. Well we managed to get almost all of our stuff back together and shoved (more or less) securely onto the top of my old Jeep Wrangler. I took the first shift since I hadn’t had nearly as much to drink as the others, and man am I thankful for that. It wasn’t 15 miles down the road when my friend Tim started yelling in the backseat, I nearly drove off the road! As I straightened my wheels and got back on track I turned around to find a two-foot snake sliding its way over the seat. Hitting the brakes I pulled over and threw out the unwanted backseat driver. I guess it had slept in someone’s hiking boot overnight and gotten thrown in the trunk, but whether it did or not ever since that day I ALWAYS check my backseat before I drive anywhere.

Dead Rat Smell

The smell of dead rat is starting to give me a headache; no, I take that back. It’s worse than a headache it’s a 24 hour migraine that has thus far proven incurable. It wasn’t until Monday that I started smelling it, and now it’s been nearly a week and I can’t get rid of it! As a single mom with a two-year old son, I can’t have something so pungent and maybe even harmful in my house, but I also can’t afford to have some two-bit, simpleton of an exterminator smash up all of my walls just for what could be one rat. Well against my better judgment, I called a local exterminator in (without looking into him at all) to help, and a lot of good that did.
This guy was a sight for sore eyes, he showed up in an old, beat to hell Chevy with sagging Wranglers and mud on his shoes. Trying to follow my grandma’s advice of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, I smiled and welcomed him inside offering him a glass of water. He accepted, downed it and followed it up with a large belch, then told me to take him to the dead rat. Before I knew it part of the wall in my pantry was gone, and so was the man who did it. He wasn’t at my house for an hour before he skipped out on me!
Now I’m stuck here in my tiny house with a crying toddler, a dirty kitchen, an empty glass of water, a wallet that’s $200 lighter, and that dead rat smell as strong as ever; not to mention the newly discovered rat’s nest inside of the wall. Well the rodents seemed to be winning this one and I might have had to let them win if my dad wasn’t as good to me as he is, by tomorrow afternoon my headache will be cured and my house will smell fresher than ever. The moral of this story is if you’re hiring someone to rid your house of vermin, hire the right someone; do your research and you won’t be stuck, like I am, with the awful smell of dead rat.

Birds Nest in the Garage

When you have a six-year old daughter, getting rid of the birds nest in your garage is far from easy. Instead of just swatting it down and chasing its owner away like you would normally do, you’re asked to “not hurt the babies” and, “give me the nest I’ll be the mom”. Neither of which are on your mind at the time, or at least they weren’t on mine when my daughter Vanessa and I discovered the Swallows that had been crafting themselves a home in the rafters of my garage. She was ecstatic to see the nest since they had a lesson on birds in her Kindergarten class just days before, and desperately wanted me to take a picture for her. Since she’s my one and only little girl, I obliged and pulled out the ladder so I could get a closer image. Big mistake. Instead of just finding some feathers, twigs, and grass like I expected, I found six tiny white eggs decorated with small red dots, and one had the beginning of a crack going right down the side.
Climbing down, I hesitantly showed Ness the picture I had taken, I had done my best to zoom out so she might not recognize what the little white spots were, but she knew right off. She ran from the garage quicker than a fox, her little legs pumping furiously. Once I realized where she was going, I chased after her. If her mom found out about the little birds living in the garage just waiting to hatch, I would have seven kids instead of one. Luck wasn’t on my side however, my wife just happened to pick that day to sit outside and weed her garden, I had no chance of getting that picture back from Vanessa in time.
Sure enough, once the word was out about the birds nest in the garage, there was no getting rid of it. Instead I was ordered to regularly check on the nest to make sure that the parents hadn’t abandoned it and to see if any new progress had been made on the hatching. Soon enough there were five ugly, pink birds (one didn’t make it I guess) wailing for their mother, and she came. As the birds grew so did Vanessa’s interest in them, she loved to climb up and see them as they grew into bigger, stronger birds and when they left the nest, she cried for hours. As heartbroken as I was to see her so upset, I did a little rejoicing. No babies in the nest meant I was good to go on getting the thing out of there. All I can say is the next time there’s a birds nest in the garage, it’ll be gone before ANYONE knows about it.

Animals in the Chimney

About a month ago, I started hearing an animal in the chimney. At first I assumed it was just the old fireplace making noise, you know how things like that like to creak and groan; but after a while it started to become more frequent. Now, instead of just a clang and a whisper here and there, I hear constant movement and tiny mews. I think there might be baby raccoons in there, but to tell you the truth I didn’t know there were raccoons anywhere near my house! Living in the city does have its perks when it comes to wild animals; unlike my dearest country-goer friends who constantly deal with things like this, I only have the occasional issue.
Well it seems like my years of luck with critters has come to a draw, because I am almost positive there’s a nest sitting right on the inside of my chimney, I assume the animal is a raccoon because I’m not sure what more it could be! Birds can’t just fly out of a space like that and I haven’t smelled anything that would suggest it’s a skunk, can they even climb into a chimney? Not to mention I haven’t heard any crazy banging and clanging that might say a squirrel or something is in there. What other animal could it be than the great, ring-tailed bandit?
So now the question is, how do I get them out? I live in Utah and the winters here can get unbelievably cold, and I’m going to have to start a fire eventually. I don’t want to light them on fire (especially if there are babies!) or do anything that would harm the little family, but I can’t let them stay! I want to call a trapper but I don’t even know how much that would cost, but really it looks like my best option. I have no idea how else to take care of the wild animals in my chimney!