Usually, people adopt animals, but sometimes it’s the other way around.
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A few months ago, Rory Foley of New Zealand was scraping paint from a window of the 19th-century manor home he’s renovating in Christchurch, New Zealand when he heard a sound coming from a nearby walnut tree. He looked up to see a young owl watching him closely.
For weeks, Rory noticed the bird watching him from a safe distance in the walnut tree right outside his window. One night, the owl decided to get a closer look. The man describes hearing “a bang and a crash and a smash” as the owl barged in through his cat door.
“We were just sitting there watching TV, my cat and I, and all of a sudden he pops into the lounge and onto the couch and just started watching TV with us,” Rory recalled.
As far as he knows, this would be the first time the owl, who Rory named Mr. Hoot, would pop in to hang out with his newfound human and feline friends. The bird returned every night thereafter for a nightly routine they all seemed to enjoy.
“[He comes in] every night,”Rory explained. “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.”
After sharing the story on Facebook, Rory and Mr. Hoot gained some fame. Experts deemed the bird healthy and instructed Rory to keep his distance and encourage the bird to flee the nest, so to speak, and Rory has taken their advice. He knows their time together is fleeting, and he’s enjoying being the animal’s “guardian” for the time being.
“He seems very happy with me, he seems very safe,” Rory said. “And I think I’m just his guardian until he can grow up a little bit.”
Rory is now working on an owl house to put out in the walnut tree. In the meantime, he loves having the company in the evenings. Who wouldn’t?
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