Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not Writing: Excuse #17

At 5 a.m. I switched on the lamp in our den, surprising a bat.

First, I screamed like a little girl. Not a lot of screaming. Nothing to dishonor myself or be embarrassed about. Just a short, high one. Didn't even wake anyone up. Then the cat and I watched from the safety of the hallway as the bat flopped around the room, finally landing on the chimney and scrabbling around. I watched it for a long time.

Eventually he went into the fireplace (probably where he got in). I locked the cat in the laundry room, grabbed the computer, and did some googling, one eye on the screen, one on the bat. Armed with some knowledge, heavy-duty gloves, a dirty towel, and one of those disposable Tupperware-type containers, I caught the bat at about 6:30. First with the towel to immobilize him, then with the container, popping it over him and scoonching the lid up under.

I let the bat go in the back corner of our lot. With the container upside down, I popped open the lid. He dropped out and flapped away.

I've got six pages of a new story, but no pages written today!


  1. Lee,

    Sounds like you handled it well. I've been on bat duty twice in my life. Once to help out a neighbor in an apartment - I wadded up socks and threw the up the stairs where the bat was. After about half a clothes basket worth of socks, the bat went after one and his claws became stuck and he fluttered around the ground. I used the clothes basket to capture him, gloves to retrieve the sock and handle the bat for the release.
    The second time, I was awoken by a report of a bat hanging (seemingly impossibly) from where the ceiling and wall come together at a 90 degree angle. I contemplated the bat at length as I drank my first cup of coffee. I resolved the situation as well, but alas with a less rosey outcome. Kudos on your efforts.


  2. I hope I don't get as much practice as you, Mark!

    If I had it to do over again, I'd have handed the bat over to animal control for rabies testing. only 1-5% of bats have rabies, and I don't think our cat had any contact with it. Still . . . .