Well, today I’m going to tell you a story about a frequent visitor to our house.
When we bought our house, back in 2004, it had sat vacant for 10 years. (It was a repo, which it is likely to become again. Ah, the circle of life!) During those 10 years, a number of animals had taken up residence in it. The owl moved out, as soon as we moved in. We used live traps to catch the squirrels in the attic. After we plugged the holes (made by the pilliated woodpecker) in the soffet, the robins quit building their nest there.
But Mr. Bat still wanted to pay us some visits.
We were never quite sure how he got in. But I remember that first night, hearing this strange noise on the main floor, while the cat was going nuts. We came down, and there he was, flying around the living room and kitchen. It took awhile for him to notice that we had opened the door, so that he could make his exit.
The next time, the cat had him cornered, on the floor by the computer. Rob removed the cat, which led to Mr. Bat flying around on the main floor again. He wouldn’t go out the door, so Rob caught him with the vacuum cleaner, and helped him outside.
Beanie was born, and I went through a short stint of reading mainstream parenting magazines. One of them had a scare story about rabid bats biting children in the middle of the night and killing them. So I completely freaked out during Mr. Bat’s next visit. Beanie stayed asleep in her cradle, next to our bed, while Rob employed the Electrolux canister vac once again, sending Mr. Bat on his way.
During Mr. Bat’s next visit, he was actually sucked up into the vacuum cleaner. Worried that we killed him, we set the vacuum outside, to see what would happen. Surprisingly, Mr. Bat was gone by the next evening.
Then there was the day I came home from work, and Rob directed me to the bathroom. Under the sink, in a jar, was Mr. Bat. Tragic events had ensued. Rob had been cleaning out the area in front of our walk-out basement, when he heard a rodent in a pipe. Thinking it was a mouse, he banged on it with a hammer. Out came a very stunned Mr. Bat. Hoping that he hadn’t killed him, Rob put him in the jar, to sleep it off.
I remember thinking, that day:
There is a bat. In a jar. Under the sink in my bathroom. This is my life.
Mr. Bat recovered, although he was never right in the head after that. He took up residence in the area in front of our basement, and we would often hear his abnormal chirping in the evenings. We’re not sure exactly what he ate, as he preferred to walk around, rather than fly (although he still could fly).
Yesterday, I was enjoying an e-book (I finally got my own e-reader, but that is another story!), when I heard the kitty running around after what sounded like a large insect. Curious, I went to take a look. I freaked out, because it looked like she had cornered a black mouse, or perhaps a shrew. Rodents creep me out.
But no, upon further examination, it was just our little buddy, with his wings folded up. After we restrained kitty and opened the door, he spread his wings, and we saw that he had grown to a larger size than most bats. Whatever he had been eating, it was working for him.
We wished him good riddance, as he flew away.