To Sweep or Not to Sweep

I have birds in my chimney.

Okay, so it’s not bats in my belfry, but after reading this entry, you may conclude that it amounts to substantially the same thing. Let me explain: A while back, the wind blew off our chimney cap. It’s a fairly simple job to remount it, and therein lies the problem: It’s simple enough that I can’t stomach the idea of paying someone to come out and do it, but it does require both an extension ladder and a reasonable lack of acrophobia, both of which are in short supply at home.

So the job’s been put off for some time now. Then suddenly, a few weeks ago, we started hearing noises from the fireplace. At first, it took a bit of investigating for us to figure out just where the noises were coming from, but then we realized that the best technique for such discovery was simply to follow the cats. Yes, they were a bit confused as to how exactly to get at the birds in question, but they were quite clear on just where the birds were.

So now, dear reader, I figure you’re falling into one of two camps. On the one hand, there are those of you who would encourage me to just get up there, knock the nest out and reattach the chimney cap (or bite the bullet and hire someone to do it). I’m not making any judgment as to whether you offer this advice out of practical assessment or avian antipathy; just making a general classification here — feel free to come up with your own rationalization.

Then there are those who would advise me to wait the little guys out. After all, birds do grow up pretty quickly — and given the racket they produce, these are definitely juveniles we’re talking about. Sure, it’s annoying at times, and it’s certainly frustrating the hell out of the cats, but it’s not all that bad.

For the moment, I’m sitting in the latter camp. Okay, so maybe some of it’s still my reluctance to actually do the job I’ve managed to put off for this long, but I must admit that I’m a sucker for baby birds. Baby animals of just about any stripe, really — hell, I won’t eat veal or lamb, though I don’t consider myself a vegetarian. So I’ll probably just wait until the little guys are big enough to fly out on their own and then get up there, sweep out the nest, and reattach the cap.

Go ahead, mock away. But remember that you won’t have to explain to the girls what happened to the baby birds...


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