“Tonight I was watching TV — he popped in and sat on my couch …”
For the past few months, Rory Foley has been hard at work restoring an old manor home in New Zealand. It’s required long days of laboring, most of which he’s done on his own.
But through it all, Foley hasn’t exactly been alone.
About three months ago, Foley first noticed a feathered local who already called his property home. It was a tiny owl who, Foley came to realize, was equally curious about him.
“He was in [a] walnut tree by [my] bedroom window,” Foley told The Dodo. “[Each] morning, he sat by the window looking in.”
Foley named him Mr. Hoot.
The glass panes of the window, however, wouldn’t divide them for long.
One evening last week, while Foley relaxed at home, something remarkable happened.
After hearing the distinctive rattle of a cat door Foley had installed, he looked to find the little owl had let himself inside.
Foley was stunned. But this wouldn’t be a one-time thing.
Following that first visit, Mr. Hoot evidently decided to make dropping in part of his evening routine.
“[He comes in] every night,” Foley said. “He pops in around 11 p.m., and we chat away. I keep [a few feet] away from him, just so he feels safe. [I] leave a window open [and] he normally pops out by 6 a.m., back to his favorite walnut tree.”
According to Foley, Mr. Hoot has been examined by experts and was deemed to be healthy. That said, why exactly the little owl has taken to visiting his home isn’t entirely clear — but Foley feels grateful to be trusted, whatever Mr. Hoot’s motivations may be.
Assuming Mr. Hoot to be a fledgling youngster, Foley doesn’t expect to be a figure of curiosity to him for long.
“He’s flying around the grounds at the [moment], happy as,” Foley wrote, adding: “He [will] probably find Mrs. Hoot soon and start his life.”
Their time together, however, will be something Foley won’t soon forget.
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