We Were Driven a Bit Batty This Week


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

We had an uninvited guest in our home this week. At about 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, my wife and I heard the cats making a ruckus and got up to investigate. At first, we thought they were just playing and, in an attempt to settle them down, I gave them some food.

While I was doing this, I heard the windchime we have hanging in our living room ring, as though someone hit it. As I went in to investigate, something buzzed by my ear and, after a few seconds of peering into the dark without my glasses, I realized it was a bat.

We have no idea how it got in the house though my theory is it was hiding in the air conditioner we put in the window the day before (I had kept it in my mom's garage). Regardless, it proved to be a bit of a challenge the past couple of days.

That first night, we wanted to open the front door for it but had to lock the cats up first. That took longer than expected because they were really wound up and wanted to "play" with the bat too and, by the time we were finally able to get them out of the way, the bat disappeared somewhere in my wife's sewing room. After searching for 30 minutes with no success, I stayed on the couch while she went back to bed, but it did not return.

My wife spent most of the day Wednesday looking for the bat and couldn't find it, so we hoped it got out the way it came in. However, around 9 p.m., it emerged from hiding again and started flying around the house.

This time, we were able to get the cats locked up and open the front door. The bat, who I nicknamed Robin Williams (because of the actor's bat character in Ferngully), chose not to cooperate, however. Every time we thought we had him moving toward the door, he'd dart in a different direction and, when I tried to gently catch him in my daughter's butterfly net, it snapped in two.

Finally, Robin flew into a corner in our living room and, once again, disappeared. My wife and I searched for at least an hour and even brought the cats into the room to see if they could find it, but it was nowhere to be found. It was getting late, so I opened the top part of our living room windows enough for the bat to get out on its own, hoping it would do so after things calmed down a bit.

At first, we thought this worked. My wife searched every inch of the living room during the day, moving furniture, taking items off the shelves and even looking inside our electric fireplace and air conditioner and couldn't find it. Then, after it got dark outside, we turned off all the lights and waited quietly until at least 10 and did not see it.

Not even 15 minutes after we called it a night, we heard the cats again and opened our eyes to the bat circling our bed. I was able to move quickly, get the cats in the hall and close our bedroom door so it was more isolated. We then removed the screen from our window and, using blankets (as many web sites instructed us to do) attempted to guide the bat outside.

This also proved to be a challenge because Robin wasn't having anything to do with it, swooping at us multiple times and even colliding with my wife's head and back (fortunately, she wasn't bitten or scratched, just bumped). When he finally stopped and we didn't see him, we congratulated ourselves for finally getting him out of the house.

Or so we thought.

A half hour later, the screen was back in the window, our door was open, and we were back in bed. That's when our older cat, Echo, jumped up on my nightstand and began staring at corner shelf. I thought, for sure, he was looking at a bug that got in while the screen was out of the window or a shadow but, nope, there was Robin sticking his head out from behind a small wooden statue we got as a wedding present.

Fortunately, the bat was no longer putting up a fight at that point and, instead, was determined to just hide. This allowed me to get my gardening gloves and a towel and, after some tense moments (not knowing if it would change its mind about hiding), was able to wrap it up, statue and all, and get it outside. I was thrilled when it spread its wings and flew off into the night.

My wife is a bit traumatized now and on the fence when it comes to her opinion about bats. I still think they are awesome creatures (easily one of my favorites) but hope to never see Robin or any of his family in my house again. I am just glad we were finally able to get the bat outside without it biting any of us or the cats and without hurting it.


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