So a little over a week ago my neighbor across the street tells me that as she was backing out of her driveway a dead rat suddenly fell out of her engine. Apparently rats like the warmth of a car engine and typically enjoy chewing any miscellaneous wires they find in there as well. I remember feeling totally baffled and grossed out as she told me her story and I hoped that was a once in a lifetime deal.
On Tuesday evening this week I made my ritualistic trip to Wal-Mart for groceries, etc. I came home, unloaded the car, and closed the garage. It just so happened that I had bought a first aid kit to keep in my car for the summer (it seemed like a good idea since Kyra is so adventurous and fearless) and decided to just go ahead and put it in the car rather than leaving it out on my dining room table for who knows how long. As I was putting it in the back seat, I could hear shuffling sounds in the garage and I assumed Chase had followed me. I went back into the house and called for Chase to come in but was startled when he came running from the kitchen instead of the garage. I stuck my head into the garage and listened intently. Definitely scuffling. Definitely coming from inside my car engine. "JIM!!!" I hollered out in a panic. "There's a rat in my car engine!"
Bewildered he came downstairs and I rattled off my neighbor's recent rat encounter. He bravely headed out to the garage to listen for himself. From the other side of the closed garage door I could hear him say "Oh my gosh! It sounds huge!" We talked for 15 seconds about a game plan to get it out and trap/kill it. Jim decides he has to back the car out of the garage and I announce that I'm calling our neighbor as I'm dialing the phone. Her husband answers and I'm like "Hi Matt. It's Kesh from across the street. I think I have a rat in my car engine. Any ideas on how to get it out?" He tells me he'll come over in a minute to help out and I hang up the phone. I then hear Jim say, "I saw it! It stuck it's head out!" Then the creature stuck it's head through the large holes in my grill a second time and Jim announced, "It's a BIRD."
First thought, "Oh thank God it's not a rat." Followed immediately by, "How on earth did I get a BIRD in my CAR ENGINE?!" As Matt approached Jim informed him it was a bird. Still skeptical, I stood in the house with the door cracked a half inch as they attempted to free the bird. It took both of them to figure out how to pop the hood of my car, but as soon as they did. a frightened, over-heated robin shot out of the engine and took a perch on the light in our garage. The guys used a rake to try and guide the bird out of the garage and after a couple failed attempts (mostly because the poor bird seemed delusional) the bird was out of the garage. It landed in our front yard where it stayed for a while, so exhausted from it's near death experience that it didn't even attempt to move when Jim hovered over it to get some pictures. I never saw it fly away, but I'm assuming it recovered because I cautiously scanned the yard yesterday and never found it.
Apparently rats aren't the only ones who like to get a little cozy in a car engine.