To see the pool today, you would never know that no less than 7 ducks had been living in the water for over 3 years. And Attica? Well, she was a cat who lived in the attic.
The house had been vacant for several years. The family moved away and left the house behind. It was paid for, so they just had to keep up with taxes and they chose to maintain the utilities. They had a certain amount in their head that they wanted to get for the house and they would hang on to it until they got that number.
The duck house had been a lead that we followed up on regularly, but were just never quite comfortable giving them what they wanted. For the amount that we needed to put in it, plus the amount to purchase, the total expenses did not leave much room for error or profit.
Michele and I had just finished a rehab and it flew off the market, having received multiple offers within 24 hours of listing. The market was growing stronger again in the Houston area, as was proven with the sale of our most recent rehab. So, the time was now. Let’s give the family what they wanted for the house. We would keep the ducks and all.
The seller gladly accepted and the closing occurred within a matter of weeks. Now what to do, what to do. We had a small zoo – did I mention there were a few fish tanks full of fish too?
The contractor that we had working on the project, had a personal home on a large piece of land. He offered to take the ducks. “Gladly”, we said. “If you can catch ‘em, you can keep ‘em.”
The chase – and our video camera – was on. Apparently, a duck whisperer, those ducks flocked to him and into a cage they went. Only one was a little ornery and made it a game of chase. But eventually he joined the others in the cage.
Elusive Attica, the cat– she was a different story and not so easy of a catch.
The house had window air conditioning units and that was what she used to propel herself into the soffit hole and ultimately to the warmth of the attic – hence the name. One of the first calls to action for the rehab was to remove the window units and replace them with central A/C and heat. Not only would that equalize the temperature in the home, but the cat would no longer be getting into the attic. The window units came out, including the one near the kitchen window. Soffit vents were replaced and problem solved.
Not Attica’s plan. We would come back the next day with the soffit vent bent and a welcoming hole in its place. How could she have possible gotten up there, bend the vent to make a hole and make her way in?
The rehab went on for weeks as it was a big project. Time and again, the cat was scurried out of the attic and the vent replaced until we finally gave up and decided to deal with it later.
As we worked, Attica would sometimes poke her head out of the hole and peek into the kitchen window. Each time, we would try to entice her to come on out. Inevitably she would go back in. Still we questioned “how did she get up there?”
Then one day, as one of the contractors worked in the kitchen, she witnessed the cat jump to the outside window sill, bounce off the window and with that momentum disappeared right into the hole. That is one determined kitty. If it were basketball, it would only hear the swoosh – nothing but net.
Finally, the rehab was done and the house was under contract to sell. It was time for Attica to go. The animal trap and a can of tuna went to the attic. Attica took the bait and was promptly delivered to a no-kill, animal loving shelter. At the time of this writing, she is believed to be in her furever home.
As for the ducks, they are living happily ever after in the country and they greet the contractor with excited quacks when he returns home daily.