The other night my daughter was watching TV in the family room when she screamed "Dad! There's something in our fireplace!" Sure enough behind the glass doors was a cute little chipmunk, attempting to climb up the chain cinder guard.
The poor thing. He was dirty and scared and hungry too.
We really didn't know how long he had been in there since we don't use the family room all that often during the "nice" season, so we slipped him an apple and a small dish of water. Within seconds he rushed to the blessed fruit, grabbed on with his little paws and gnawed it down to the skin. It was sad and sweet at the same time.
But then it dawned on us...
Holy crap! Now what?
I wasn't about to try to catch it. With my luck the instant I opened the door the "cute" little critter would charge right at me, bite my finger, give me rabies and run out onto our white carpet leaving little sooty pawprints all over the place until he found his way into our ductwork and haunted us forever.
No really, that is my luck for sure. So I definitely needed another plan.
Well... where would you go if you needed an answer about something like this? Why the internet of course. A few clicks later I had found my solution.
"Drop a heavy rope into the fireplace and secure the other end so the rope stays taut. The chipmunk will see the light and climb the rope to get to it."
So that I did. And whattayaknow? IT WORKS! I came home from work the next day and the little critter was gone.
"Good luck little Chipper!" we all thought, because by that point my daughter had named it and adopted it and wanted to keep it forever. Not.
"And stay away from dark chimney flues!"
Of course since I didn't immediately take the rope out of the chimney, a family of spelunking raccoons have moved in in the meantime - but they're welcome to stay the night if they want.
But they have to be out by morning or I'm charging them another night's rent!