I was in Birmingham last week for a conference (on my birthday, no less!). I had a great time and it was fun to meet up with colleagues and hear the talks. Mike picked me up from the airport Wednesday night. After the welcome home hug and kiss he said "I have some bad news, kinda." UH OH! What happened?! He went on, "I can't find Omelet." It was dark and poor Mike works such long hours that he leaves the house before the sun comes up and gets home after it sets. This is not optimal for caring for chickens. He told me about how he'd searched the entire backyard with a flashlight and still couldn't find her, but he was positive he saw her that morning. I told him not to worry about it and we'd look together when we got home. As we were looking, we found a pile of black feathers next to the Fowlamo. Yep, something got her. We weren't sure what, but we at least established that it was Ana who was missing, not Omelet.
The next morning, I went out to check on the chickens and I heard one squawking that wasn't one of the two in front of me. It was Ana! I ran into the alley behind our house to see if I could tell where she was. That didn't help so I went back into our yard and peered through the fence to the neighbor's yard. There she was! No problem! I'll just go over there later this morning and get her back! Perfect! I rang the doorbell about 10am with no answer. I left a note, "Saw you found our chicken! Here's my number, call me and I'll come take her back."
Hours went by with no call. Of course not. It's Thursday. They're at work. I checked again before heading to a function that evening. Still no answer. Mike left the function early and I asked if he could knock on the door and see if he could get Ana back.
When I came home, Mike informed me that there was still no answer and our note was still on the door. However, there was a 2nd note from our across the street neighbors saying they, too, had lost a chicken and were wondering if it was theirs (an e-mail had been sent out to the neighborhood saying a chicken was found and being kept at our neighbors house). We really need to get to know our neighbors better.
The next day I tried ringing the bell again, but a bit earlier while I saw a car in the driveway. No answer and I didn't see or hear Ana in the backyard anymore. Around 4pm, I got a call from a guy who said he's friends with our neighbor and he had found and captured Ana. A woman who lives on the next block over had responded to his e-mail and said she also has chickens and would take ours in until the owner was contacted (the more I think about this the less I understand why he didn't a) call me, b) knock on our door, or c) toss the chicken over our fence). He gave me her number and I called her. Well, apparently Ana didn't get along with her chickens so she put Ana in her neighbor's yard. She gave me her neighbor's number. I called him after running a couple errands to allow him some time to get home from work. He was there and I drove over immediately and brought her home.