The Great Fireplace Mystery

Hello Folks, Alberto here.

We recently had quite a conundrum at our house. For the last three weeks there has been a loud rattling, vibrating sound coming from our fireplace. It has interrupted the morning, afternoon and early evening naps of The Tribe of Five, which is annoying but it’s has caused great stress in The Male and Female Human’s lives.

The Female Human, having been advised by the fireplace people that this was probably a problem with the fireplace fan, shut off all the gas and the electricity that connects to the fireplace. She breathed a sigh of relief, believing this would resolve the situation. Soon the horrible shaking, vibrating and rattling began again. The fireplace people would not be able to come by for another week and a half so the Female Human sought advice elsewhere in the meantime.

When consulting some friends The Female Human was advised that there may be some air or water in the gas lines, causing the loud noises and vibrating. This concerned the female human so she called the gas company who promptly dispatched a gas expert. The gas guy spent a good amount of time checking everything, gas lines, testing for gas leaks, checking the water heater and whatever else he thought important.


Oliver’s favorite spot

None of the Tribe of Five was interested in the gas guy’s activities except Oliver. Oliver has an unnatural love of this fireplace as evidenced in his video, “I love you fire”. Oliver was quite concerned that his access to his beloved fireplace might be blocked (it’s still chilly in our neck of the woods).

After several hours, the gas guy admitted defeat, confirmed that the house was not in danger of blowing up due to leaking gas and bade our Humans farewell.


Still the horrific noise continued so the Female Human, always a logical being, decided she’d video the fireplace so she could play the sound for the fireplace guy when he arrived. Every day, like clockwork, the terrible sound shook the house morning and afternoon and early evening. The Tribe of Five was actually getting used to it and our naps were undisturbed, until yesterday.

Yesterday, the fireplace human came to check the fireplace. He spoke with the female human for a few minutes and then she played the video for him.


After watching the video he chuckled and said one word, “woodpecker”. Evidently this type of bird has pulled stunts like this at other houses (including his), drumming on the metal fireplace pipes on the roof. The fireplace guy told the Female Human that it’s  mating season and evidently, the louder the noise, the more attractive the woodpecker. The fireplace guy suggested a shotgun and fortunately due to the Female Human’s behavior later, we were relieved that she didn’t have one.

Although the Female Human was comforted that we were not in imminent danger of being blown off the hillside, there was still a part of her that did not fully accept the fireplace guy’s proclamation, even after he took everything apart, checked the fan and pronounced all was in perfect working order.


What the heck is she doing??!

Sure enough, about two hours after the fireplace guy left, the noise started again. A rather maniacal look came over the Female Human’s face, a look I hoped never to see again.  She opened the slider to the upstairs deck and ran outside yelling, “Get out of here you stupid bird, go find a tree to drill on!” while waving her arms like a demented seagull.  And, as if by magic, the noise stopped not to return the rest of the day.







Meowza, she’s at it again!

Fast forward to this morning, when the Tribe of Five, having enjoyed our soft food breakfast was stretched out on our respective sofas, enjoying the sun streaming through the windows and preparing for our early morning nap. Suddenly, the sound started again.  Before you could say “Meowza”, the Female Human raced past us, flung open the glass doors, ran out on the deck, grabbed the snow shovel resting in the corner and began to bang on the lower part of the roof as she yelled “Get out, get out, leave us alone!”. Did I mention that she was wearing her sleeping attire during this little drama?

Methinks this war between the human and the pecking bird is not over. She has been hunched over her computer researching things like “getting rid of woodpeckers” and “keeping woodpeckers away”.  As she is a lover of all of God’s creation she doesn’t want to harm the offending bird, nor does she want to scare away the little birdies and the squirrel that come to the upstairs feeder. She just wants the woodpecker to go far, far away.


The culprit, northwest woodpecker, also called a flicker

The Tribe of Five refuses to join in the Human’s stress and hysteria. The only things we get our whiskers in a twist about is when our soft food meals are late, when you can see the bottom of our food bowls or when the litter boxes are not as pristine as we would like. This battle with the pecking bird is one the Female Human will have to fight on her own. However, The Tribe of Five is praying that the neighbors don’t call someone to take her away as a result of her erratic actions. I mean, who would give us our evening treats?

That’s it for now, I hope your days and your fireplaces are woodpecker free!
Purrs & Head Bonks,