About 4 weeks ago, my wife was kept awake all night by things going "thump" in my attic, and strange noises from outside the house. I didn't hear anything but my good wife certainly did, and demanded that I look up in the attic and go outside and see if I could find out what was going on. I took everything out of the spare bedroom closet, got my stepladder and my big flashlight and opened the attic trap-door. Nothing seemed out of place in the attic, but there was far more light in the attic than there should have been----very strange. A walk around outside the house turned up two pieces of aluminum soffit, which the wind had been blowing around on the snow crust and making the racket. A look up immediately showed two gaps where my soffit pieces should have been, and inspection of the pieces of soffit showed they had been bent and pushed out from inside the attic---stranger and stranger.
My house is a split level, having the roof at one end about 3 foot higher than the roof on the lower part of the house. At the "joint" between the two roof levels, a very small bit of gable end is exposed, and the soffit around the upper roof overhangs the lower roof by about two feet. It seems that a coon had climbed a tree which is close to my house, stood on the lower roof, pushed up the overhanging soffit on the upper roof, and climbed into my attic. Of course, once the damned coon was in there, the soffit dropped back into place and the coon was trapped. It bumbled around the attic half the night, then adventured out onto a different piece of soffit at the front of my house, and the weight of the coon caused the soffit to buckle and drop the coon into my driveway.
A week later, two coons were in the attic, same old, same old, and in the morning a very irate Mrs. Rupnow demanded that I call "Varmint Control" in the yellow pages of our phone book and get somebody out to fix things.---And what does this cost, was my first question when somebody answered the call. Answer--$150 to come out and see what was causing the problem, and $100 each for each animal trapped.
Not wanting to have Mrs. Rupnow any more irate than she already was, I said "Come on out, and bring your traps!!" So----out he comes, and over the course of 3 weeks trapped four coons and disposed of them.---Now I'm up to $550 and there still is the issue of even more coons possibly getting in. However, all is not lost. It just happens that for a "nominal fee" the coon trapper will fix any entrance points where the coons could get in. It seems that when my house was built 30 years ago, the soffits were not screwed into place. They set in an aluminum "track" and are apparently held in place only by the grace of God and gravity.
Of course, it is very unlikely that a coon could scale a sheer wall and push up my soffits, but all the soffits overhanging the lower roof have to be removed, a layer of sheet aluminum screwed into place, and then the soffits put back into place to foil anymore coons. This was going to be done for the low, low price of $600.
Now I'm up to $1150, and the original displaced soffits still have to be put back in place and the tree closest to the house has to be trimmed back to keep the buggers off my roof.
Now two things are making me crazy in all of this. Firstly, if I was 10 years younger I would have caught the coons and repaired the questionable soffits and trimmed the damned tree myself. Secondly, and even worse, if the fact that probably I brought this all on myself. Two years ago I put up a nifty bird feeder just outside the family room sliding glass doors so wife and I could watch all the cute little birdies all winter. And we've seen lots and lots of cute little birdies. Birds are very messy eaters. Half the birdseed ended up on the ground.--Which was fine, because that encouraged the herd of wild turkeys that live in the woods behind us to come out once a day and scrounge up all the seed that had fallen into the snow below the bird feeder.--Trouble is, it also encouraged the squirrels, and the rabbits, and the skunks, and the coons---friggin coons!!!---We even seen a possum out there, and I had NEVER seen a possum before in Ontario.
As soon as the snow melts and the ground thaws out, the bird feeder is history. Sorry, little birdies. If wife and I ever want to see little birdies again, we'll watch "The Nature of Things" on the boob tube.
Does any of the above prove anything?---Well, probably that you never get too old to do something dumb. Coons---Bah---humbug!!!