Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Bat in the Belfry

Will, Hallie, and I arrived at the Lodge midway through a warm (by Northern Wisconsin standards), sunny afternoon, and just as quickly as the kids scampered down to the shoreline to fish with Grandpa, I flopped down onto the couch to relax with Grandma. The weekend preceding our trip to the Lodge revolved around a wedding and a family reunion, and included nearly 15 hours in the car, two different overnight locations, and packing/unpacking our car and suitcases six times. To say I was tired would be an understatement; exhausted and borderline crazy might better describe my state of mind when I arrived in the Northwoods.

So when I first saw the bird sail through the room behind my MIL I couldn't be certain if I'd actually seen a bird or if the lack of sleep and accumulation of travel-related stress and anxiety and frustration had finally caught up with me. But a moment later the bird returned, swooping gracefully from one ceiling beam to another.

"Oh!", I exclaimed, interrupting my MIL's story. "I think a bird just flew through the house!"

"Um, yes", my MIL replied. "We'd really hoped to take care of this before you (my in-laws know all about my weird animal fears) arrived...we looked for him, but when we couldn't find him we honestly thought he'd gotten out."

"You thought who'd gotten out?" I asked nervously.

"I hate to have to tell you this, but there's a bat out there."

I tried to remain calm, but I think my MIL could sense the rise in my blood pressure and moved quickly to shut all of the doors and windows between the main living room (where we'd been chatting) and the four-season room (where the bat had apparently taken up residence). As soon as the Gramps and the kids returned from fishing, Grandma sent them on a mission to rid the house of it's newest tenant.

The bat removal pleased me on many levels:
  1. Will helped, and now he's one step closer to becoming my Official Lizard Catcher. (I can't believe he hasn't already volunteered for the position - I mean, it comes with a badge and everything.)
  2. Will wore a lifejacket while helping, as if a piece of equipment designed to prevent drowning would also prevent or protect the wearer from a bat attack.
  3. My FIL used my lizard-catching technique - trapping the animal under a tupperware or bucket, sliding a piece of thin cardboard/cardstock/a magazine cover under the tupperware or bucket, and then transporting the animal outside in this makeshift cage. My FIL released the bat a bit more gently than I release my lizards (I literally throw the bucket and the paper - with the lizard trapped in between - out the door), but that was really the only difference.
  4. I learned that bats can't take flight from the ground. Somehow that made this little guy considerably less scary to me.
Less scary, but still gross.
Gramps traps the bat while a lifejacket-wearing Will looks on.
Fly away home, gross little buddy!
Three years ago, a bat in the house would have sent me running for the lake (but not into the lake, because that's where the fish live). But after spending as many years in Texas, regularly catching and releasing the lizards who visit me in my no-lizard-zone house, I was able to somewhat calmly watch the bat catch-and-release go down - I even took pictures! Maybe there's a plus to those lizards after all.

On second thought, no.

No comments:

Post a Comment