Monday, October 28, 2013

The One Where Elliott Freaks Out

The other night, we heard a commotion on the roof while we were watching The Voice. Our neighborhood has its own feral cat colony, and Elliott loves it when Roof Kitty comes out to play, but the other night it sounded like the whole colony was having one big dance party on the roof. Elliott spent like an hour staring at the skylight.

After the banging and scratching had gone on for like 30 minutes, Matt went outside with a flashlight to see what was up there — cats usually are not entertained for such long periods of time — and said that he thought he saw one cat up there (though he later informed me that its tail was awfully poofy for a cat).

So we ignored the scritching and started to get ready for bed, when the noise started to seem to get closer. The chimney flue runs right next to our bedroom wall, and I thought, "Oh no, one of the cats has fallen into the chimney!" So we went downstairs to explore, and that's when we realized that the scratching was coming from inside the walls. And it was moving. Elliott followed it all around the kitchen as it ran along the inside of the ceiling.


Matt hauled a ladder out to the balcony to see if he could see anything, and that's when he realized there was a giant hole in the siding around our chimney. (Not the section we replaced.) So it would have been easy for an animal to get in next to the fireplace and crawl around in the walls.

(Taken the next day.)

By this time, it was around midnight, and neither Matt nor I wanted to go to sleep. We weren't even sure we wanted to stay in our house, because I had visions of rabid animals busting through the sheetrock and getting Elliott. We were both on our computers, looking up what options we had for animal removal, and trying to figure out what kind of animal it was. (Based on the noises and this website's description of animal noises, I'm pretty sure we had a raccoon.) Eventually, we heard it scamper upward through the chimney, and didn't hear any more noises afterward, so we assumed it had gone.

So we did the only thing we could think of: we called Matt's parents. And not only were they nice enough to answer the phone at midnight, but they came out the next day to help us replace the siding on the chimney so we don't have any more crazy animal escapades. And luckily Matt still had a few sheets of siding left over from our last project, so we completed this one relatively quickly. (Painted the siding, used the old piece as a template to cut the new piece, nailed the new piece up and then caulked and painted the whole chimney since that needed to get done anyway.)


Have you ever gone up on your roof? Sorry that's a lame question, but I don't have a better one. (And my answer is hellz no, I am scared of tumbling off and breaking my head. I let Matt do all the hard work while I painted siding in the front yard. And reminded him frequently not to fall.)


  1. So to answer your question first, yes, I have gone up on my roof. Multiple times, one of which was to clean the snow off of the satellite dish - that's always fun. But anyway, we had a raccoon family living above our garage and in between our ceiling and our roof when we were renting an apartment. We obviously couldn't do anything about it because we didn't own the property, but the leasing company came about three months later and covered up the vents that were over the garage, which was their access into the space. I was so afraid that they were going to lock the raccoons in there and we'd end up with dead smelly animals in our ceiling. Glad you were able to take care of your issue!!

    1. And our cats were mesmerized by it too! It was actually quite entertaining, minus the "what happens if" scenarios that went through our minds!

    2. We were definitely a little worried about trapping the animal in the walls, but we haven't heard any noises since! Knock on wood!

  2. Ack! So scary! Glad it left, haha. And yes, we've been up on our roof a few times!

  3. I've actually worked on many a roof! I developed a bizarre love for helping on shingling projects as a teenager. That's a super scary adventure, though! I don't like critters in my house!

  4. Oh my goodness, I think I would have hightailed it to a hotel! Glad you got the situation resolved without animals hurting Elliot!

  5. I wouldn't sleep at all, how creepy!

  6. A guy from our church fell off the roof last year while hanging Christmas lights and broke his back. Scary! Glad you got the roof situation fixed!

  7. First of all, The Voice is my jam! Secondly - are you sure the crazy animal didn't eat that hole in your chimney so he could make his way in and hang out with you guys? I bet he did. He should've had to fix it himself! Third - confession. When I was in middle school, I had a friend with an attic bedroom, and we would sneak out onto her roof and hang out all the time. We'd sunbathe and drink Capri Suns and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I guess my 12 year old self was fearless, Taylor Swift style...

  8. So glad it all worked out! I have never gone up on the roof, or even in the attic, for that matter. We had roof rats at one point and had to do the whole extermination thing. They say they trap and release them, but I'm not holding my breath. The sound of animals scratching above your bed at night is horrifying. We also had raccoons behind our apartment complex, and they would shimmy up the gutter to the second floor, where our neighbor kept his dog biscuits on his patio. It was a freaky thing to see. Poor Elliott!