Over the last few months, Rory Foley has been tirelessly renovating an old manor house in New Zealand. The restoration work has been challenging, and he has had to spend long hours working, mostly by himself. However, Foley hasn’t been entirely on his own during this time.
Mr. Hoot, a small owl, caught Foley’s attention who had made a home on his property. The bird appeared to be equally interested in Foley as he was in the bird. Foley said that Mr. Hoot was perched on a walnut tree near his bedroom window, and every morning he would sit by the window, looking in. Foley gave him the name Mr. Hoot.
“He was in [a] walnut tree by [my] bedroom window. [Each] morning, he sat by the window looking in.”
They wouldn’t be separated for long by the barrier of the glass panes of the window. Then, something incredible happened while Foley was relaxing at home one evening last week. He heard the distinct sound of the cat door he had installed rattling, and to his surprise, the little owl had let itself inside. Foley was amazed, but it turned out this would not be a one-time occurrence.
“Tonight I was watching TV — he popped in and sat on my couch …”
After the first visit, Mr. Hoot decided to include dropping in as part of his nightly routine.
“[He comes in] every night. 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.”
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While experts have examined Mr. Hoot and found him to be healthy, it is unclear why the tiny owl has taken to visiting Foley’s home. Regardless of Mr. Hoot’s motivations, Foley is grateful to be trusted.
Foley presumes that Mr. Hoot is a young owl and that his visits will likely dwindle once he finds a mate. Nonetheless, their encounters have left an indelible impression on Foley.
“He’s flying around the grounds at the [moment], happy … He [will] probably find Mrs. Hoot soon and start his life.”
Nonetheless, their encounters have left an indelible impression on Foley.