Authorities are reporting an incident at 72 Mockingbird Lane. The McMansion, soon to be listed for sale, was unoccupied at the time of the midday incident.
Photographer Angel Icarus was at the residence taking photos of the property. Icarus also had a recently purchased a camera drone with him. Equipped with six helicopter-style rotors and a camera platform, the drone helped Icarus get bird’s-eye photos of the house. Those photos, combined with the wide-angle HDR photos of the interior, gave Icarus and the realtor the shots that they needed to make 72 Mockingbird Lane look like the palace of a rich and successful orthodontist, which it was.
But ever ambitious, Icarus had one more brilliant idea–to fly the drone inside the house. With over 5,000 square feet of living space, cathedral ceilings, and an open floor plan, 72 Mockingbird Lane was a perfect candidate for indoor flying, and Icarus brought the gear inside. Starting in the sumptuous great room (complete with 80” flat screen, giant fireplace, and bank of windows looking out into the garden), Icarus carefully navigated the drone towards the ceiling and then over the marble counter-topped/Viking ranged kitchen. Slowly, Icarus navigated the drone through the hallway towards the dining room, just clearing the tops of the throne-like dining chairs.
Things were going great until the drone got to the grand staircase in the foyer. It was a tight fit but he thought that he could make it. Heading slowing up the grand staircase, the drone caught the attention of the homeowner’s cat, an athletic domestic serval who, never having seen a drone before, mistook it for a bird. Now and again even domesticated cats will exhibit some of their wild origins when “hunting” a piece of string, and this domestic serval, still imbued with genes from its wild relatives, was quite eager and up for the hunt. Crouched low on its haunches and wiggling its rear in anticipation, the cat “Snugglepuss” leapt 7 feet in the air as the drone reached the top of the stairs.
Snugglepuss quickly found out that it wasn’t a bird as his paw clipped one of the rotors, causing Snugglepuss to yelp and beat a hasty, limping retreat. The offending rotor, now badly damaged, ground to a halt, causing the drone to spin slowly out of control. Icarus valiantly tried to right the craft, but he was pretty new at this, and the drone clipped the railing, damaging another rotor and sending the compromised drone out of control.
Damages in the house were as follows:
- Contemporary abstract painting in foyer: canvas sliced in several spots, but nobody liked it anyway
- Ficus tree (fake): trimmed, badly
- Imitation Ming Vase: resting in pieces
- 80” flat screen: series of 6” scratches along screen
- China cabinet: glass front broken, grandma’s china destroyed
- Little-used, unloved treadmill: undamaged
- Snugglepuss: licking wounded paw
The drone came to rest in the garage, but not before leaving a trail of scratches along the homeowner’ s prized possessions, a new Audi SUV and a gleaming Harley Davidson.
Thankfully, apart from the Icarus’ ego, nobody was injured.