Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Bat

For the second time in the 15 years I've lived here, a bat entered the house. This was January 4th. It actually was in the house the night before, and I became aware of it around midnight. A noise in my bedroom wakened me. I thought it must be mouse. After the noise continued I sat up (noisily) and turned on the light. I saw something on the floor across the room, and was trying to come up with something to throw at it, just to get it out of the bedroom. It suddenly took off - flying around room. Oh crap!

Years ago when I discovered the first bat in my house, I was able to guide it into the second floor bedroom that has a door to a balcony.I guided the bat by closing doors to rooms I didn't want it to go in, and leaving open the door where I wanted it to go. Once in the bedroom I closed the inside door and opened the outside door. Within 10 minutes the bat flew out the door.

So, I tried this same strategy with this bat. I waited in the hall for the bat to come out of my bedroom. But it didn't come out. I went back in and waited and heard no sound. I waited some more and still no sound. Since I had to get up for work in the morning I eventually decided I would just go back to bed, but I left the light on. I don't know if this is what kept the bat silent, but the bat was silent. The next morning I went to work without hearing any more from the bat.

When I got home from work that evening, I first noticed something askew in the dining room. Going in there I discovered a small mess. I have 11 decorative "Russian Legend" plates on a shelf high on one wall. Seven of the plates had fallen off the shelf, and had apparently caused the other damage I saw. Knick-knacks knocked down or moved. Miraculously, only one of the seven fallen plates had broken. On the shelf I saw something black, which I took for a piece of broken plate, although I knew it didn't really look like a bit of broken plate. The thought that this had been caused by the bat did cross my mind.

Nothing I saw required immediate action, except removing from plate from on top of a plant, so I changed into post-work clothes and had something to eat. (Later, a friend asked me wasn't I afraid after coming home and finding this mess in my dining room? I never felt afraid. I guess I just didn't perceive any danger. But I was annoyed!)

I then tried to get a closer look what I now figured was the bat on the shelf. It did occur to me that bat may not be dead, as it looked. Once I was up on a ladder where I could really see it, I could see it was moving. Oh crap, again. I tried to sweep it into a plastic bag but it took off flying around. It flew around the dining room a couple times, then into the kitchen. I opened the back door and a window in the kitchen hoping the bat would fly out, but instead it eventually flew into the living room.

In the living room I closed the pocket doors at the entrance to the living room and opened the front door, hoping the bat would fly out. After nearly an hour, with me trying to guide the bat out the door, I was getting pretty pissed-off at this thing. It would fly past the door but would not go out! It appeared to be getting tired. It kept hitting the walls and occasionally flopping onto the floor, but it would fall behind a chair or under a table so I couldn't get access to it. Finally I fashioned a "net" by duct-taping a plastic bag, held open with a bent hanger, to the top of a broom handle. With this I was able to scoop the bat out the front door.

I quickly closed the door and opened the pocket doors so that room could be re-heated. This was January after all. So now I'm going to get a butterfly net or a fishing net so that next time I'm ready!