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ERIN OFF CAMERA: What IS That?!?!?

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I heard that comment, along with “Yum!”, “Hmmmm…” and “Interesting” last Friday night.  I was part of a group judging chili and cornbread for the third annual “Roasting Cancer Chili Cook-Off”.


The event benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Sonya and her fellow fundraisers do a ton of work making it come together.  It’s always fun sitting near Andy Fales during this thing since he is something of a chili connoisseur.  “Oh – that’s Cincinnati Chili,” he said after one taste.  “Geesh, there’s liquid smoke and vinegar in this one,” about another.  Do you have a killer chili or cornbread recipe?  If so – share it here.


Saturday I was saying, “What IS that?!?!?” and not just because of the gastrointestinal distress I was in after consuming so much chili the night before.  I came home from hot yoga and could hear something rattling around in the basement.  I went downstairs and walked toward the corner where I could hear the noise and then saw something zoom across the room.  I confess, I did not stick around to get a good look.  Instead I sprinted up the stairs and proceeded to call a place called “Critter Control”. 

critter control

We have a lot of raccoons in our neighborhood and I had convinced myself that’s what was lurking in the basement. They might look cute, but they’ll chew your face off and that’s what I was afraid of.


Wade, the nice man who showed up with giant gloves and nets and cages to deal with the mystery critter said, “Well, in this area it could be about anything!  I’ve caught coons, possums, rats, bats, cats, squirrels, birds…”.  You get the idea.  After a few hours he discovered the thing creating the ruckus.  It was not a raccoon.  In fact, it didn’t even have hair or TEETH!


It was a starling!  I was so disappointed and embarrassed, but I had to laugh.  I don’t know how this poor thing ended up in our basement, and ultimately inside the HVAC duct work but it scared the snot out of me.  I hope he’s OK after dealing with my screeching, my cat’s yowling, and Wade’s hunting and eventual capture.

When I was a kid we had run-ins with a wild cat and a bat at our house.  What’s the craziest animal encounter you’ve ever had?

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