Visitor Lurks by Family’s Window for 8 Years, Until Dad Learns Why


| LAST UPDATE 06/19/2022

By Stanley Wickens

After moving to a house in the countryside, the Shoemakers were interrupted every night by the sound of something tapping on their front porch. When they finally saw what it was, they were speechless..

The Mystery Begins

Tap, tap, tap. The sound was enough to wake Kelly up in the middle of the night. And it wasn't the first time she'd ever heard it - in fact, it was the third time that night. Something wasn't right...

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Heritage Images / Contributor via Getty Images

It's normal to be more alert to strange noises happening in or around the house at night. But when Kelly heard the tapping noise for the third time since she'd gone to bed, she knew there was something going on. And she couldn't sleep until she knew all was well...

Where It All Started

Before making the bizarre discovery, there wasn't anything too extraordinary about 26-year-old Kelly's life. She had finished grad school and was married to the love of her life, who she'd been dating since high school. Her successful education and marriage gave Kelly a lot of appreciation for her life.

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picture alliance / Contributor via Getty Images

After all, it was what any average couple would dream of: She and her husband, Brad Shoemaker, lived in a nice cozy apartment. They had great jobs with a steady income and an abundance of love for one another. But a year into their marriage, things suddenly began to change...

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A Sudden Arrival

The foundation of the couple's successful marriage and long-lasting relationship was a loving friendship. They enjoyed each other's company, planning their days together as they lived their lives in the big city. But something was still missing...

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Jonas Gratzer / Contributor via Getty Images

The couple had always dreamed of having children. Less than a year after their wedding, they were excited to find out their wishes had come true! Kelly was pregnant with their first child, and their lives were about to change forever. The Shoemakers were over the moon with joy.

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A New Door Opens

In many ways, the couple knew their lives wouldn't be the same once their son Jeremy was born. But despite all the joy the new baby brought them, lots of changes needed to be made for them to continue to live comfortably. The first was their beloved home...

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YouTube via Real Life Wonders

Their city apartment could hardly provide enough space for the growing family since the baby's things took up a lot of room. Seeing how stressed out Kelly was over the situation, Brad proposed the idea that the couple might be better off living in the countryside. If only he knew...

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Moving In

Kelly didn't hesitate before agreeing to her husband's idea. A home in the countryside would provide the space and comfort the couple would need to raise their child properly. However, it would also be a huge change that was bound to change everything.

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YouTube via Real Life Wonders

So, shortly after Jeremy's second birthday, the family of three made their big move away from the bustling city and into a beautiful and affordable home in the countryside. But although they were initially very fond of their area, they would soon find themselves regretting their decision...

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Exploring the Outdoors

When the Shoemakers first moved into their home, they instantly fell in love with it. They had a yard where Jeremy spent the days playing in, surrounded by big, beautiful trees all around the house. But Jeremy wasn't the only one who loved being in the yard...

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YouTube via Real Life Wonders

The lush trees surrounding the house were home to a few squirrels, which Jeremy loved to watch and chase around. It was the most fun that any toddler could ever ask for, and Jeremy loved sharing the space with these little creatures. His mother, however, couldn't disagree more...

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Unwanted Visitors

If we're being honest, Kelly Shoemaker was far from relaxed, knowing there were so many squirrels scurrying around in her backyard. After all, having lived most of her life in a city apartment, she wasn't used to having a private yard - let alone unwanted visitors.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

Kelly expressed her concern to her husband one night, telling him, "A scurry of squirrels can attract a predator, Brad." After seeing how much her son enjoyed playing with the small rodents in the yard, she began to worry that he wasn't safe playing in the yard. And perhaps she wasn't wrong to think so...

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Too Close for Comfort?

Unfortunately, there was some truth to Kelly's claims. In the county the small family lived in, there were quite a few predators that could easily make their way into the small yard. But after Kelly shared her concerns with Brad, she was surprised to find out he didn't think there was anything to worry about.

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YouTube via Real Life Wonders

Her husband told her that Jeremy wasn't in any danger and that he was safe in playing the yard of his own home. After all, his parents never left him alone, and there was always someone around to check on him. But soon enough, something happened that made Brad change his mind...

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The Night Intruder

The couple and their son were all asleep one night when they heard a strange and loud noise that sounded like it was coming from outside. Although it was a rainy Sunday night, the noise had still been audible over the pitter-pattering sound of the rainfall. That fact alone was frightening enough...

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Jan Hakan Dahlstrom via Getty Images

Wondering what could be standing outside their home, they feared for their son's safety. The Shoemakers immediately got out of bed and rushed to the front door of their home, Kelly grabbing Brad's cricket bat as she followed her husband out of the bedroom.

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Facing Their Fears

Not wanting to wake their son up, the couple moved as quickly and as quietly as possible. Brad was a few steps ahead of his wife and got to the front door first. He hesitated for a few moments, not knowing what could possibly be waiting for the couple on the other side of the door.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

Just a few seconds later, Kelly was by her husband's side, bat in hand. Together, they slowly opened the door. A first glance at eye level didn't reveal the identity of their midnight visitor. But when they looked down, the couple saw something that sent a chill down their spines...

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A Cry for Help

Lying on the front porch before the couple was a wounded squirrel whose furry legs were stained in blood. The poor creature must have been attacked by a predator, the couple thought as they examined the squirrel from a safe distance. Then the animal let out a small squeak of pain.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

Hearing the squirrel cry out for help was enough to make Kelly rush to its aid. As annoyed as she usually was with the constant presence of the squirrels in her own yard, she knew she couldn't leave the small animal on her front porch to suffer. But little did she know, her actions carried a lot more weight than she thought...

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A Second Chance

The Shoemakers gently cleaned the squirrel's wounds, wearing gloves and being careful not to touch it directly. Once the wounds were clean, they wrapped its leg in a white bandage. Then Kelly decided to do something she never thought she'd agree to...

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Subhadeep Bhattacharyya via Getty Images

She and her husband decided to take the squirrel in and take care of it until it completely recovered from its injury. Wrapping its small body up in a blanket, the couple took it in and laid it to sleep in a box until they could take it to a vet to get all the necessary shots. But soon enough...

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Meet Lily

The days turned into weeks, which turned into months. The squirrel, now named Lily, had officially become a part of the Shoemaker family. As Jeremy grew older, he and the Lily became inseparable. It seemed almost as though the toddler had a younger sibling.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

It warmed Kelly's heart to see her son having so much fun and learning how to play and be gentle with animals. But it pained her to know that they couldn't keep the squirrel in their home forever. After all, the rodent was meant to live and grow in its own natural habitat, wasn't it?

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Saying Bye

So the sad day finally came when it was time to say goodbye to Lily Shoemaker. Kelly knew that Jeremy was heartbroken, but she had also explained to him how important it was to set Lily free and let her go back to living in nature, where she's most comfortable - or so they all believed...

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Albina Kosenkovia Getty Images

No amount of time could prepare Jeremy for saying goodbye to his best friend, but he ultimately stood back and watched as his parents opened the box and let Lily out. Although his time with Lily was relatively brief, he had a lot of memories to hold on to. Until that one night....

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Another Visitor

It had been a few days since the family returned the squirrel to its natural home. Kelly and Brad knew they had made the right decision letting her go, but they couldn't help but feel that the house seemed quite empty without their furry friend - they missed her dearly.

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Education Images / Contributor via Getty Images

But it wasn't long before they realized something had changed ever since Lily ran off into the trees near their house. The silence that had filled the night for the past several months was suddenly interrupted one night, when the couple heard a tapping noise that sounded very familiar...

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Could It Be?

In fact, the last time they heard it, Brad and Kelly had rushed to the front door to find Lily, the wounded squirrel lying on their front porch. Startled back to consciousness by the soft tapping, the couple looked at each other in disbelief, trying to process what they'd just heard.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

Brad and Kelly managed to see each others' faces from what little moonlight had managed to make its way through the window. And as they looked at one another, they each saw that the expression on the other's faces confirmed the noise that came from their front porch.

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Gone, Without a Trace

They rushed to the door but opened it only to be met with the darkness of the night. The two of them decided to shrug it off and not think much of the event. But it wasn't just that one night that the couple was woken up in the middle of the night by the tapping sound...

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Cappi Thompson via Getty Images

A month went by, with the recurring tapping sounds still waking Brad and Kelly up every night. But every time they opened the door, hoping to discover the identity of their nighttime visitor, they couldn't find anything on the other side of the door. But little did they know, it wouldn't remain a mystery forever...

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The Haunting Continues

But that doesn't mean it didn't take a while for them to figure out what was going on. The months soon turned into years, and before any of them knew it, Jeremy was in fifth grade, and Kelly was finalizing her Ph.D. But throughout all these changes was a consistent, underlying sound tapping in the background...

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YouTube via Real Life Wonders

Eight years of the soft tapping had passed, during which Brad had set up cameras all around the house to try and catch whoever was knocking on their door. But one weekend, as Kelly was watching one of the cameras closely, she saw something that shocked her...

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A Race Against Time

"Brad!" yelled Kelly to her husband as she dashed up the stairs. She woke both her husband and her ten-year-old son and called them to follow her down the stairs. As the three of them made their way to the screens that revealed what the cameras had captured outside the house.

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Robin Beckham via Getty Images

"It's two in the morning, Kelly," Brad said with a yawn as he pulled up to the screens behind his wife and son. "What is it?" Kelly didn't answer but merely pointed to one of the screens, which had already caught Jeremy's attention. He stared at it with wide eyes.

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Connecting the Dots

After directing his attention to the screen his wife was pointing at, Brad let out a gasp. Focusing on the video feed, he zoomed in on what he had spotted. Kelly was so touched that she held Jeremy close to her as Brad wrapped his arms around his family.

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Star Tribune via Getty Images / Contributor via Getty Images

They couldn't believe their eyes - a very familiar squirrel was tapping their front porch. "Lily?" Jeremy whispered, and his mother nodded. Lily looked more grown up and had a thicker coat. The Shoemakers were about to let their long-lost family member in when they saw her do something completely unexpected...

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The Search Continues

The squirrel was small but could run pretty fast - in a matter of just seconds, she ran up the rafter and vanished. Wondering what her behavior could possibly mean, the family tried to track down where she could have possibly dashed off to. Luckily, Jeremy had an idea...

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damircudic via Getty Images

They needed to find out where the squirrel had darted off to. "Change cameras," Jeremy said hastily. His father switched the view of the main screen to one of the cameras pointed at the house. For a few seconds, the family watched closely, searching for any sign of Lily.

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Getting Close

But it didn't take long for Jeremy to spot his best friend from his diaper days. "There," he said, pointing to the corner of the screen. Sure enough, there was the squirrel the family had cared for nearly a year. But just a moment later, she hurried off again. This time, they knew exactly where she was headed...

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damircudic via Getty Images

The small rodent climbed into a small crack between the tiles. Kelly immediately recognized where she had gone to, saying "Attic" out loud to her family. Brad, Kelly, and Jeremy then rushed up the stairs after Lily, and what they found made their jaws drop…

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Discovery in the Attic

As they hurried into the attic, the family looked around for Lily. It didn't take them long to find her - but once they did, they were speechless. In the corner of the attic, nestled snugly beneath the small rodent's legs, were three adorable little kittens.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

They couldn't believe it. All those years ago, the family had been so heartbroken to say goodbye to their beloved Lily. Jeremy never dreamed he would ever see her again. But it turned out that the squirrel had been living in their attic with her own family for quite a while.

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Reunited, Again

The family watched with wide eyes as Lily sat by the kittens, feeding them gently. Kelly couldn't believe her eyes, which began to tear up as she witnessed the precious moment. "This is amazing," she said as she reached out to hug her husband and son. But Jeremy had gone to fetch something important...

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YouTube via Kritter Klub

A minute later, the ten-year-old returned with the old blanket the Shoemakers had used to wrap Lily in the night they found her wounded on their front porch. Kelly smiled once she saw what her son had done, and he smiled back at her, saying, "We are a family again, Mom."

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Settling In

Happy to have Lily back in their lives, and seeing that she had a huge responsibility on her shoulders now, the Shoemakers wanted to do anything they could to help her. The first thing they did was fill a small basket with soft blankets, making sure it was big enough for Lily and her three kittens to sleep on.

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YouTube via Ginger Kitties Four

Next, Brad took on the job of cleaning up the whole attic to make it more comfortable for the animals to live in. Soon enough, Lily and her three kittens, who the family named Jossie, Alen, and Cliff, were feeling right at home in the Shoemakers' attic.

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What Goes Around, Comes Around

The family soon figured out that each time they had heard a tapping noise out on their front porch, it had been Lily. She had been living in their attic all this time, and her family had grown. Kelly was inspired by Lily's big heart and willingness to take in three helpless kittens and care for them as her own.

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Nadine Berre / EyeEm via Getty Images

After all, she had raised Lily for a year and nursed her back to health after the Shoemakers found her with a bleeding leg. Kelly thought it was nice to see that animals have just as much compassion as humans when it comes to helping others in need, regardless of species. But she wasn't the only one who felt that way.

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Becoming a Star

Several people online learned about Lily's story and how she had returned to the Shoemakers - again and again - not giving up for years until she finally caught their attention. Her tragic accident and heroic actions completely changed what people thought about squirrels.

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YouTube via Americans Channel

After the Shoemakers posted their story online, it quickly went viral and won the hearts of millions of people around the world. Not only is Lily internet-famous now, with a large online following, but people also come to the Shoemaker's house to meet the unique squirrel.

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Changing Views

Although people normally think of squirrels as pesky, unwanted visitors lurking around their yards damaging crops, Lily managed to change that perception quite a bit. Her big heart and bravery managed to convince millions of people that squirrels are capable of love, selflessness, and dedication.

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Dan Kitwood / Staff via Getty Images

The truth is, Lily seemed to act more like a house pet than a wild animal - the Shoemakers even agreed that they could feel the squirrel was grateful for the way they rescued her all those years ago! Lily had an important message she needed the world to pay attention to.

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Under Constant Threat

The reality of the situation is that the population of squirrels in the world is beginning to decline. This is especially true in countries like England, where the species suffers from loss of habitat and road traffic accidents. But there's also the human factor...

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YouTube via Real Life Wonders

They're frequently victims of rat traps or are attacked by pets like cats and dogs. People think of them as "disease-carrying" animals and nuisances that chew through wood and wiring. But in reality, squirrels are often compassionate creatures that play an important environmental role by collecting and spreading plant seeds.

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The Takeaway

In short, they're a species humans should be paying a lot more positive attention to. "If Lily can teach at least one person to have compassion for all living things, no matter how big or how small," Kelly Shoemaker shared, "then we have done what we have set out to."

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YouTube via The Dodo

Lily's message is simple and has reached thousands of people across the world. The next time one spots an animal in need of help, perhaps remember Lily's story. Nature has an interesting way of turning a single act of kindness into a chain of good deeds. And every creature on our planet - no matter how big or small - deserves one.

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