My basement ceiling is open to the outside world (and cats)!

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Old 09-30-18, 09:44 PM
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Question My basement ceiling is open to the outside world (and cats)!

Hi all,

This is sort of a good laugh at this point.

I have a 1992 built 2-story colonial home in Delaware. We've owned the home for about 5 years. Just this past summer, we started noticing signs of an animal in the basement. Cleaned up the mess, never saw it, and all was fine for a month or so.

Then, we started finding more messes again. The basement has a drywall finished ceiling (horrible idea if you ask me). I have some random holes cut out in the drywall ceiling from completing several plumbing and electrical repairs. Haven't patched them yet. But we noticed more and more fiberglass insulation on the floor.

I finally put one of our Arlo Pro cameras down there and we eventually found that a cat was living down there. There was no way we were able to catch it as at first sign of us coming, she would hop back into the ceiling. After some time and paying more attention, we noticed this cat had her kittens down there too.

Anyways, I searched around the house for any sort of entry point but couldn't find anything. The momma cat definitely had means of coming and going, because we had no food down there.

We ended up rounding up the cats with a humane trap... but the tricky part was relocating them to another space until we could take them to an animal shelter. We ended up using a bathroom. We also had to do it quickly because kittens with no mom cat could've ended ugly. Fortunately, the trap and some cans of cat food worked great. The mom cat didn't seem feral. Mom cat was actually very friendly.

Back to the post topic...

Just a couple weeks ago, when investigating where my dryer vent goes in another post, I crawled under my fireplace outside, and discovered that the cat probably got in from outside there. Under the fireplace, I can see the floor joists of my 1st floor. There appears to be no plywood or other covering cutting off the basement ceiling from the outside!

This can't possibly be intentional, can it? We did notice a large number of large rocks under the fireplace and around it, as if someone was using the rocks to block that entry point. Could this be a construction mishap?

I have a video from my phone of me crawling under the fireplace so you can see what I am talking about here.

And just for reading this post, here's a photo of the whole family!

Side rant: It took dozens of phone calls across 3 states to find a shelter that would take cats, feral or not. I think they were in our bathroom an extra couple days because we couldn't find a place to take them!

Should I just plywood this off and call it a day, or am I missing something in the design here? How has this house gone 25 years without an issue like this?

Thanks all!
 
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Old 10-01-18, 01:53 AM
Marq1's Avatar
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Definitely appears that the overhang is missing some plywood to close off the bottom of the joists.

Doesn't appear to be a horrible job but will probably have to move all the rocks to gain access, dont forget to re insulate!
 
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Old 10-01-18, 03:20 AM
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Sister lives in LA and had feral cats living under a trailer. We used live traps to catch them and no shelter would take them. I relocated them to the Calif hills.
 
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