another front in our war against nature
October 26, 2009
So Friday night, round about 12:30 a.m., long after the Spouse and I fell into our usual exhausted sleep, I was awakened by the strangest noise. It was a rattling, sorta, then the sound of fingernails on glass, then a bunch of soft thumpings.
I ignored it. The night was windy, I reasoned. It's probably just that.
But it kept going. Then, because that wasn't enough, there was a weird growly noise, too.
I flung the covers back and tracked it down. The source was one of the windows in our bedroom. Barney was on his hind legs, staring at the closed blind intently.
I went back to my side of the bed for my glasses. I was certain that this would require glasses.
I pulled up the blind and was staring into the beady eyes of a little brown bat, who had gotten himself trapped between the screen and the window.
I will admit that I shrieked, just a little bit. Because, dude, bat near my face. Even if it was on the other side of a pane of glass.
Scott was up by then and trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. We both realized that we had no idea how to free the bat back into the outdoors without a) having to get a ladder and scale the outside of the house at 1 a.m. on a rainy, windy night or b) releasing said bat into our bedroom.
I did what any sane person would do, which is get my camera.
There was hemming. There was hawing. Barney just wanted us to open the damn window already.
Eventually, Scott, who secretly lives for these sorts of problems, came up with a plan that involved two cookie sheets and a bath towel. I closed the bedroom door so that if the bat did wind up in the house, it would be confined. I made sure Barney was on our side of the door. He can be remarkably useful.
I didn't tell Scott that part B of my plan involved diving under the covers and not coming out until the bat was dead.
We moved quickly, cracking the window open enough to get the cookie sheets into the gap, then moving both cookie sheets and window in tandem so that the bat couldn't fly out the bottom of the gap and directly into our faces. When Scott could get his hands on it, he lifted the screen. We shoved the window back down and waited for the bat to release that freedom was just a fall away.
This took longer than expected. Clearly, only the less-than-clever bats wind up in such situations.
Eventually, tho, he flapped away. Barney spent the rest of the night staring at the window. Scott and I went back to bed.
So how was your Friday night?
I noticed while walking the dog Thursday evening that there are plenty of bats in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, the mouse incident has demonstrated to us that should a bat get caught between the glass and screen in our bedroom, we'll be sleeping in the guest room for a couple of days...
Posted by: Anna | October 26, 2009 at 11:32 AM
Wow. OK that was an awesome story. Less so if you've been the one losing the sleep. Kudos to you for having a plan, having the camera, and having a cat willing to "help". Yours is a much better story than the time my aunt's house was beset by flying squirrels.
Posted by: anj | October 26, 2009 at 11:55 AM
I've never lived anywhere where there are bats, but my brothers once accidentally chased a prairie dog into the house. I heard that was a fun one to catch, too, involving a butterfly net of some kind.
Posted by: Big Alice | October 26, 2009 at 12:57 PM
That would be really startling. Kudos on figuring out how to get him free, even if he was apparently a very dim bat.
Back when I lived in Iowa, at one time I lived on the third floor of an old Victorian and bats would get in with sad regularity. To the point that I had an actual Bat Towel which I would use to snag the bat once it had landed so that I could more easily relocate it back to the Great Outdoors. Largest number of bats removed in one night: 3. Most surprising: the time a bat landed on my shoulder. I'm still not sure which of us was the more surprised.
Posted by: Melanie | October 26, 2009 at 01:35 PM
I had a baby possum climb through my slightly opened kitchen window. It really scared me. I told it to go back outside, and it did. It sat on the window sill looking in for the longest time. I'm grateful it didn't get loose in my apartment!
I love bats. I'm glad your's made it out safely:)
Posted by: Debra | October 26, 2009 at 01:53 PM
My sympathies! Bats are less fun when they are indoors, in my opinion.
Posted by: emily | October 26, 2009 at 05:56 PM
If your name was Alice & Scott's was Ray & Barney was Sasha the dog & you lived in Stockbridge MA, you could have had bats in your ... oh never mind.
Posted by: Sil | October 26, 2009 at 06:17 PM
One time in the summer of 1989 a bat got into the house while my sister had a dozen 12-year-old girls over for a slumber party. *That* was a scene.
For years, there was a quarter-sized hole in the ceiling where Dad tried to stab it with a broom. Eventually I got a blanket over it, with Dad telling me not to do that because once Grandpa got bitten by a bat and had to have the old school rabies injections, the kind with a nozzle-sized syringe in the stomach.
Glad your bat got out OK. After white-nose fungus, we need every bat we can get!
Posted by: Dave* | October 26, 2009 at 09:15 PM
The next time we find a bat in our house in the middle of the night, we are calling Scott (and Barney). You may take pictures if you like.
Posted by: Pie Goddess | October 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM
If there is pie waiting, I'm there.
Posted by: The Featureless Saint | October 28, 2009 at 07:28 AM