We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have a chimney cap, we have a stainless steel liner running from the very top of our chimney, about 35' high, right down into the new woodstove in the kitchen. We have three cats.
Nonetheless, every summer, usually in August, we find mice, live mice, inside our woodstove. How do they get there? No idea. Do they run down the length of the chimney liner to sit in our stove and watch the cats through the glass? There's no other entrance to the stove; the door is closed tight in the summer. If they tried to run through the kitchen and enter the stove from outside (entering through a still-undiscovered hole in the stove), one of the cats would nab them. The mason who installed the chimney liner in 2015 can't figure out how they get in there either.
So, every August and September I put little humane mouse traps inside the woodstove, baited with peanut butter, and take the little guys way out into the woods to release them. It's become a late summer ritual around here. A mystery, too.
Amen to the chimney cap! Every summer we'd get sparrows in the fireplace until we put the cap on. Getting those little birdies to leave the fireplace and fly out the door was always a frustrating aerobic experience.
I've had a flying squirrel come down my chimney and end up running around the house and climbing the curtains. Never even knew they existed in CT because I'd never seen one. They are apparently nocturnal creatures which would account for my lack of familiarity with them. Cute little sucker.
But never an owl. Looks like a Barred Owl to me, but I'm no expert.