I heard scritching and scratching from the fireplace today - Ack! The cats were staring and pacing and mreowing. When I called my landlord, he suggested it could be a bird or a squirrel. His solution was to open the front door wide and open the flue and see what falls out! Ack!
I shut the cats in the basement and opened up the doors. When Mr. Landlord came over he had heavy cloth gloves and a gigantic plastic trash bag. His idea was to hold the bag over the front of the fireplace, open the flue, and if it was a squirrel it would run out into the bag. I just didn't want a squirrel running into the kitchen and jumping into the sink or tap dancing across my desk.
Well...nothing fell out when the flue opened. Shoot! But he could see with the flashlight something flapping around in there. Tomorrow morning he'll climb on the roof and take apart the top of the chimney to see if the we can get the bird out that way. I hope so!
Teensy felt chimney bird. Sleep tight bird. Don't drive the cats batty overnight!
[ UPDATE - As of 3/31 it seems like the bird is gone! I didn't hear anything and the cats are glued to the fireplace doors. Yay! ]