We've been in our house for more than a year now. We've celebrated two of Doodlebug's birthdays here, two Halloweens; we're setting up to host our first family holiday dinner at Thanksgiving. (Have I mentioned I don't mind Thanksgiving? I don't love it, but I don't hate it. It's far better than the commercial hoopla of Christmas that turns me into the Annual Christmas Grinch, but never mind... I won't go there right now.) We're technically inside city limits, but between the creek and the actual location of our house on the outskirts of town, we do get wildlife. We'd been here only a few months when we saw our first opossum, and the kids have sighted rabbits, turtles, frogs, lizards, bats, and snakes. I'm sure there are raccoons and skunks, too - raccoons for certain, because we have crawfish and perch in the creek, and raccoons love to eat crawfish and small fish for dinner. Just because I haven't seen them doesn't mean they aren't there.
This spring we hosted a family of birds in our roof. It wasn't a voluntary thing on our part, but they nested, raised their babies, and left. We've tried plugging the holes, but I still see them flitting about.
A month or two ago, I noticed that the cats would seem particularly agitated right around bedtime - midnight-ish in our abode, at least for the adult denizens. Vixen, our fluffy gray genie-pants of a cat, was especially keen on staring at certain corners of the bathroom. She would dash from the corner of the jetted tub to my vanity at the opposite end of the bathroom and stare intently upward, tail twitching, as if something was roosting in the corners that only she could see. Oz and I could never hear (or see) anything, so we just decided it was a case of the night crazies and laughed at the antics. Over time, when Vixen would start dashing about, I would joke that she was chasing the house elves.
Then Tempest, our not-so-fluffy-but-also-gray matriarchal feline, joined in. Hm. Then Kuro, aka Beasticat, aka Fatty Boomsticks, ran into the bedroom one evening, and there were three cats all staring simultaneously at various points in the ceiling, their heads turning in unison as the noises jumped from place to place.
That was a bit much. I listened hard, and I heard it. A faint scratching. Very faint. Oz couldn't hear it. When he did hear it a few nights later, he thought it sounded like birds. I'd never heard birds moving about at midnight before, and so I disagreed with his assumption. I still do. The noises don't happen every night, but when they do happen, the cats alert us with their perked ears and upturned faces. Oz has poked around in the attic a few times but finds absolutely nothing up there... except insulation that would muffle the sounds of most creatures. So who knows. For now, I'm just convinced that the house elves have their room right above mine. Any time they want to come down and start doing the cooking and cleaning and everything else that I thought house elves are supposed to do, I'm okay with that!
And if it isn't house elves... well, let's just say it better not die up there. I don't mind the noises. I do mind the smell of decomp. There are some parts of nature that I don't care to deal with, and Eau de Death is one of them.
Any thoughts on what it might actually be? And how to get rid of it? Enlighten me!