|soot-y squirrel prints|
Remember this morning when I said the dogs had been glued to the fireplace? Well, since we're renting and Ryan's in a cast, I called the landlord to check it out. I don't think that he fully believed me, especially since there was no rustling noises when he arrived. Ryan and the landlord talked about what to do (go on the roof to look down the chimney or just open the flue) and because the landlord seemed skeptical that there was even a problem, they decided to go the flue route. Thankfully Ryan had the good sense to open the front and back doors in advance...
...because there was a squirrel in our chimney. (Don't doubt me, people! THAT is the lesson here.)
With a giant THUD and a yelp (from the landlord, crouched on the fireplace surround), a giant, brown squirrel came tumbling down, took one bounce off of the fireplace wood and leapt across the living room, bolting to sweet freedom out of the backdoor. The whole event lasted about 2.2 seconds, but the aftermath was much longer. The dogs were barking like crazy upstairs at the commotion; the landlord immediately jumped back and took several minutes to catch his breath; Ryan and I were wide-eyed and exclamatory; the baby was screaming, scared from all of the excitement. Quick like a flash of lightning, that poor squirrel was set free, leaving only a trail of soot-y paw prints to prove the whole thing even happened because it definitely felt like I was dreaming for a minute there.
Crisis averted: The landlord's on the roof installing an anti-critter grate right now, and thankfully E.V. calmed down once we explained to her that it was just one of Santa's elves left over from Christmas. :)