This one is a tad odder than the reappearing star. At one AM on March 1st (I can narrow this one down because I sent a text to a friend) a series of nuisances reached a pinnacle.
Throughout the night there had been a number of odd noises, like *things* bumping up against the side of the house. Some years ago a horse wandered into the corner of the house; this sounded like a smaller version of that, so I assumed that it was something like a deer. In addition to the *thumps* there was some “clacking” sounds associated with the bumps, so I assumed that it was deer antlers bonking against the side of the house.
This occurred several times over a span of three or four hours. Several times I looked outside, but didn’t spot any deer. Shrug.
Then at about 1 AM anomalous noises moved from the side of the house. I’m sitting there doing some CAD drafting, the TV on making some background noise. Even the cats were bored out of their minds; the joy of running around like idjits had burned itself out and they were reduced to a vegetative state. So I hear this noise overhead. I was unsure if it was a noise out in the world or it it was on the TV, so I put it on mute, and the noise occurred again.
What it sounded like was a smallish hoofed animal stomping around on my roof. My house does not have an attic, so sounds on the roof come through pretty clearly. But a roof is not a naturally tenable place for a hoofed animal to get to in the first place, so my first thought was that I was just hearing things. But then I noticed that both Raedthinn and Buttons were staring intently at the same spot in the ceiling. Whatever I heard, the cats heard too. Then it stomped around a bit more.
Curiosity won out over inertia, but caution was also called for. Coyotes and semi-wild dogs are reasonably common out here; armies of raccoons are not unknown, and there have been reports of mountain lions and even *humans,* if you can believe it. So, I grabbed a coat, shoes, 2,000 lumen flashlight and a 12 gauge and stepped out to see what was on my roof.
Turns out… nothing. Not a damn thing. Except for a light coast of snow, maybe a quarter inch deep, sufficient to show footprints, of which there were none. None on the roof, none around the house. I walked all the way around the house and checked out the whole roof; nothing disturbed the snow except my own footprints. The snow was there from earlier in the day, so any deer bumping into the house should have left tracks.
Since there were other witnesses in the form of at least two cats, I know that the sounds were real. Under other circumstances I’d suggest that the sounds were the result of the house settling or otherwise flexing due to temperature or even geological effects (we get the occasionally just-barely-detectable earthquake). But I’ve lived here since 2004, and while I’ve heard this house make a bunch of noises, I’ve never heard anything resembling “hooves on the roof.”
Speculating further from “settling,” the only thing that kinda seems halfway practical is that a very large raptor or eagle landed on the roof, just on the tips of it’s claws. I suppose if that were to happen, it might not leave visible marks in shallow snow. But a tiptoeing, stomping giant bird of prey doesn’t seem entirely likely either.
So this one falls into not only the “that’s odd” category but also the “the universe is screwing with me” category.