People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Holy Bats!, Man

I realized that I had neglected to share our bat story, which is still ongoing, I might add.  I've told it so many times, I guess I just forgot about you people. So here it is. 

A couple of weeks ago, on a Friday night/Sat morning, my poor hubby got up to the let the dog out and then went to sleep in our front room cause it's cooler and quieter than our bedroom in the back. Planes landing at the airport, which is about 3 miles away, shine their lights in our room all night, but I can sleep through anything and he can't. So anyway, around 4 am he got up to use the bathroom, felt something on his hair drop down, hit his chest and hit the floor. Just some dirt. He went back into the room and Bella was sitting up on the bed. He sits down and suddenly sees something flying around the ceiling over his head. He grabs the dog and runs out, closing the door and knocking over the hall table in his haste to exit the room. He's not too proud of that part, so I love sharing it.

I vaguely heard the crash of the table and then the dog being put down on the bed next to me.  He turned on the light and woke me up. He says, "don't get scared, but there's a bat in the house." I say, still half asleep, "OK, just turn on the light, open a window and he'll fly out." I'm not afaid of bats. He's not happy with this advice, since it involves his re-entry into the room with the bat, but he does it anyway. He does not look to see if the bat is still in there.

At this point, I'm awake, so we walk all over the house picking up bat poop (the dirt he found on his head!), which is basically all upstairs in our sitting room and in that front bedroom, and looking to see if the bat is somewhere. We don't see it, so we figure it must have flown out the window. We go back into the front room, close up the windows, turn off the lights, shut that door and go back to bed. It's about 5:30 am.

My great nephew Jofus (how his sister Natalie says Joseph), who's about 1 yr old, came over on Saturday around 9:30 am and we kept him til around 4 pm. Of course Bella is licking Jofus all over his face cause she can - they are at the same level and he can't stop her. Normally, that's not an issue, but we didn't take rabies into account. My nephew and his wife come in to get the baby at 4 pm, both pet the dog. They take the baby back to a party where he interacts with lots of people.

My husband comes home from a caricature job around 7:30 pm and I mention that he should sit outside during dusk to see where the bat may have come in the house. He ignores me as he so often does.

At around 9 pm, he's upstairs watching a movie, Bella is in the kitchen eating and I'm in my mother's room setting her hair (I have to do this every week and I HATE IT!!!) when her phone rings. He says, "Guess what? The bat is still here and it's big. Close the door." I close mom's door, but then he realizes that we don't know where Bella is, so I run back out to find her. I am dressed in a little cotton babydoll nightie with spaghetti straps cause it was very hot. This is not bat hunting apparel.

I get about half way through the living room and suddenly the bat swoops down the stairs towards me. When you are moving or making noise (and, yes, whimpers are noise), bats dive towards you. They are using their sonar to figure out what you are and your size. I know I said I wasn't afraid of bats, and I'm not, but honestly, when one is circling over your head, repeatedly diving towards you, traveling at excessive speeds, mostly, you're just thinking "BAT!!"

So I'm now cowering on the floor, calling Bella, who comes from upstairs.  Clearly she was with my husband the whole time. She looks at me like, What? What? I call her over and hold her while being divebombed. Can't make it back into mom's room cause of the bat who keeps circling the living room and hallway back up the stairs and around, so I head into the kitchen. I put Bella down in the foyer, turn back and no bat.

I've been on the phone with my husband the whole time and he's been upstairs opening windows trying to entice the bat to go outside. He comes down, we meet in the living room. No bat.

We both go back upstairs and look around and nothing. So we call these people that he's heard about recently who capture bats and other wild creatures, called Crittr Gittrs. (Yes, that cutesy.) We speak to them on the phone, it's after 10 pm by now, and they give us lots of pointers on how to catch the bat and scare us silly with stories of rabies, death and quarantines. She insists we call the emergency number for the department of health, which we do. This was our first big mistake. Also, the guy was kinda stupid (typical County employee) but sorta gives us some info, too.

Now we have to swing the opposite way. At first, we were turning on all the lights and opening windows to get the bat out. Now we were told to catch the bat, so turn off all the lights and close the windows, leaving just one open window, with the screen in place, per room, and turn off the ceiling fans. The point being that bats roost when the lights come on, looking for the darkest place and come out in the dark, seeking the air currents. Of course, it's really hot, really, really hot, so closing windows and turning off fans is even less fun than it sounds like.

Anyway, it works, the bat comes back out and starting circling the living room. At this point, I was hiding in my mom's room with her and Bella, and my poor husband, who is still terrified of the bat is out there, dressed from head to toe in warm clothing and gloves, walking around our dark and very warm house, looking for it.  At one point, the bat came at him in the dark while he was walking down the stairs. I hear this little yelp on the other side of the door and I'm all worried.  Turns out, he hit himself in the face with the garbage can he was carrying to trap the bat and almost fell down the stairs.

The bat, meanwhile, refuses to land or head to the open window so he calls me and tells me to call the Crittr Gittrs, which I do and they come over.  By the time they show up, it's 11:36 pm and the bat has once more disappeared. They walked around our house for 2 hours. Mom, Bella and I fell asleep. By 1:30 am, there was no bat found and I owed them $200. I had to put on one of my mother's flowery house dresses to come out of her room and pay them, too, since I wasn't really wearing the appropriate clothing for a visit with strangers. I should have changed earlier when I had the chance, but I was too busy being stressed out.

They left. Yes, they just left. We couldn't afford to pay them any more. We head back upstairs and finally go to bed a little after 2 am. With the lights on.
So on Sunday, we ended up staying home all day because we weren't sure about rabies. We went through closets and our office (stuffed with crap) and took all the pics off the walls, all the curtains and blinds down, we put towels in all the doorways so that when the bat came out, we could close the doors and completely block it out of rooms. We got all dressed for bat hunting, we had boxes ready, nets, sheets, my nephew even came over to help us catch it.

It never showed up.

Monday night was the same, we were all ready. My husband was completely stressed out about it. I was watching TV and typing up some letters and he was getting all mad at me cause I wasn't scared or worried. I said, would it make you feel better if I was terrified, standing with my back to the wall in the dark with a net clutched in my hands. He said, YES!!

We still had to sleep with the light on, but by Monday night it was a little light in the bathroom. So he was clearly getting better. Tuesday night I asked him to sleep in the other room so I could turn all the lights out.

Well, we haven't seen the bat since that Saturday night. But we still have the rabies shots to remember him by. We both have to get nine shots overall, but that's a story for abother day.


Catherine said...

wow--that is crazy!! i must admit ive never seen a live bat (although apparently we have them around here).

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