Last night I did battle with a home invader – a bat. Fortunately, skills I’d acquired from tussling with other invaders proved transferable.
I don’t count the mice, ants, cave crickets and other commonly expected (if uninvited) guests who show up in most of our homes. I probably shouldn’t count the live squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits brought into my house by my cats over the years, since visiting my home was not these critters’ idea. (I’ve learned to check my cats for baggage before opening the door for them, but now and then I forget and they sneak something past me.) Their idea or not, some of these feline presents have eluded me as for as much as a week once in the house. The rabbits are the easiest to catch – even when physically unharmed, they’ve been through so much that they seem scarcely to give a damn. I also don’t count the animals that freely use the outside facilities, such as the deer that swim in the pool, the wild turkey that pecks at his own reflection in the glass by my front door, or the bear that got into my garbage container.
I do count the skunk who walked into my house in back of me and nosed around before walking back out. I count the raccoons who in my absence took a screen off an open dining room window, entered the house, went to the kitchen, climbed up on the countertop, opened a bag of dry cat food, dumped it into the sink, and chowed down – they were still dining when I came home. I count the owl who must have come down the chimney – the damper was still open after a fire the night before. The owl provided the experience that helped with the bat. At first, the owl, as I shooed it, simply flew from curtain rod to curtain rod, completely ignoring the front door which I had opened wide. Finally, in a passing moment of intelligence, I remembered this was a nocturnal bird. So, I waited for the evening to grow darker; then I turned on every light in the house and shooed the owl again. This time it flew straight out the front door into the dark.
So, the bat was not up against a rookie. Once again I had interior lights blazing and a door open to the dark as I flapped a table cloth at it. The Chiropteran teased me a little, swooping to within inches of my head a few times, but soon opted for the great dark outdoors.
All in all, if I have to choose among home invaders, I’d rather they have wings or four legs. They are much more reasonable than the bipedal kind. Perhaps if I lived somewhere with larger four-legged predators, I’d reconsider the preference, but, then again, probably not.
At least my visitors have been terrestrial --so far