When we lived in a house, it was in a normal subdivision in a small town about 35 miles northwest of Chicago. It was not in the country; we had an average sized lot; but we did back up to a large open area. This meant that we got critters. Lots of them.
My first incident was with a domesticated critter. A cat, to be exact.
Our house had two window wells. One was only about two feet deep and faced the back yard. The other was five feet deep and faced the neighbor's house.
photo courtesy of www.coloradocustomwelding.com
We didn't have any covers on these window wells, so we captured a LOT of different things in them. Including me.
Let me explain.
One morning I went down in the basement to throw a load of laundry in the wash before the kids went off to school. I noticed a small furry thing curled up in the bottom of the window well. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was a small cat.
So I clamored up the stairs and explained to my 5 and 7 year old kids that there was a kitty trapped in our window well. The plan was that I was going to lower one of them into the hole, they'd grab the cat and release it, then I'd help them out. Simple.
But when we got outside and they actually looked down into the hole, it appeared deeper than they thought and they both started to back away.
I had no choice but to jump in myself.
No problem. Or so I thought.
Jumping in was easy. It was the getting out part that was difficult. I grabbed the cute little kitty-cat and gently set it on the ground. It took off immediately, with my kids following closely behind yelling, "Here kitty, kitty!"
I was left to myself to deal with hauling my butt out of the window well.
The first couple of attempts my gym shoes slipped on the metal ridges.
"Ha, ha," I thought to myself. "No problem!"
I continued to try and my shoes continued to slip. Now I was getting worried. The top of the window well came up to my neck. I put my hands on the ground and tried to boost myself up, only to fall back down with a loud grunt.
This could not be good.
Since we were new to the neighborhood, my kids couldn't call anybody for help.
Great. I could imagine them calling 911 and saying, "My mommy fell down and she can't get up! She's stuck in a hole!"
I'd be the laughingstock of the town!
The thought of this must have shot some adrenalin through me, because I was able to get enough footing on the bottom ridge to boost me up enough to crawl up out of that hell hole. I lay on the ground gasping for air and thanking GOD and anybody else up there who helped me (probably St. Jude - the patron saint of hopeless cases), when who should be coming around the corner of the house but that damn cat with my kids hot on it's heels!
And you know what happened.
Wait for it. Wait for it......
Bam! That stupid feline fell RIGHT BACK IN THE WINDOW WELL!
Now, I ask you, what are the chances of that happening?
I screamed so loud at my kids that I swear their hair went straight back like when you stand in front of a fan that's blowing full force.
I jumped back into that well, not giving a rat's ass if I stepped on the cat or not. I grabbed it and tossed it none too gently on the ground and hissed to the kids to "Leave it alone!"
My Irish/Italian temper really helped me because I scaled that metal wall in no time. The kids were already back inside, finishing their breakfast.
A couple days later a flyer showed up in our mailbox saying "lost cat" with a picture of the culprit that was in our window well. I called the owners and explained how their cat had fallen into our window well, and that maybe, just maybe, he was sitting in someone else's window well. They thanked me profusely and we hung up.
Later that night when we went out, I saw that little kitty smushed on the road. I called them again to say, "I think that's YOUR cat on the road," and gave them the location. It was gone by the time we drove back again. So when I rescued him, it was his 7th and 8th lives.
The cat was only the beginning of what I've found in the window well.
Part Two: Ribbit! Or Frog Legs for Dinner anyone?