Thursday, August 8, 2013

One Bat, No Belfry

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 


  1. Sounds like an exciting adventure. At my parents house we used to have bats and owls flying around the back yard on summer evening. Where I'm living now the only critters we get are possums and lizards. We had a lizard visitor inside the house once. Our cat Hobbes decided to make him feel right at home... To a cat that translates into taking pieces of the tail off and playing with them. The lizard was airlifted to safety and Hobbes was on the look out for more "friends" for the next couple weeks.

    1. Yes, cats can be friendly like that, can't they? Mine seem to prefer bringing them home alive -- though I don't really know what they don't bring home.