Thursday, September 3, 2009

Repeat "Offender"

Remember the bat that had flown into the house next door a few weeks ago? Well, I now live in that house, and the landlady was just beginning to breathe easier, thinking the bat had found its way out when….The evening of Monday, August 17 I came home from work and noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. Turns out the bat had been roosting on a window shade at the top of another entry door.

Fortunately, the shade was easily detached from the door, so I simply took the shade and the bat outside, much to the relief of my landlady. The bat flopped off the shade and into some plants along the edge of the back deck. It must have been exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry, at least if it had been in the house the whole time.

After snapping a few pictures of the creature, I decided I should probably try to hang it up on a tree trunk so it could eventually manage a take-off. The bat had other ideas. It was none to eager to receive my “help” and actually flew off from ground level, much to my amazement and relief. I was an instant hero to my landlady, but oh how things can change….

The next night, Tuesday, August 18, I arrived home to find my landlady utterly beside herself on the front porch steps. There were literally two of her there. No, I’m joking. Her mental state was not a laughing matter at all, actually. I did not know what was wrong, and the first words out of her mouth were “I’m going to have to sell my house.” Having just moved in, I was now in total shock myself.

It turns out that the bat was back, in the exact same place from which I had removed it the evening before. I reassured my landlady that this was an easy problem to deal with, but we should probably try and find out where the bat was entering the premises. After once again removing the bat (I attempted no “flight aid” this time), I set about looking for possible entry points.

This home was built in 1913, and trying to find one little crack or crevice where a bat could enter was futile. There are just too many possibilities. The chimney was an obvious choice, but the bottom was blocked by a layer of insulation. A bat would not have an easy time getting through, but it could be done. I decided that the bat must be a descendant of Houdini and let it go at that. My new plan was to simply remove the bat every time it showed up until it learned that it was going to be sent packing every time. I began the paperwork, but then remembered bats can’t read eviction notices.

Fortunately, we have not seen the bat since. I wish it were as easy to convince my landlady that bats are pretty harmless to people, and nothing to be afraid of. Not many people get a chance to see a wild bat up close, and I am sorry that this experience was an unpleasant one for her. Maybe someday I will show her the portrait I took of her uninvited houseguest before it left for the last time. I think it is rather cute, don’t you agree?

1 comment:

  1. AWWWW. cute indeed! Great closeup.
    This story made me think of a bat rescue I was called in on a few years back. My boss had received a phone call from his wife--frantic. She told him that a bat was in the attached garage, next to the kitchen door. It was making squeaking noises. His daughters were every bit as freaked out as their mother. He went home, and decided touching this thing was out of the question. So he called me and asked if it was legal to kill a bat. I assured him that NO it is not legal. I offered to come remove the bat before all the females in his house staged a walk-out. I showed up with shoebox, rubber kitchen gloves and paper towels. I placed the paper towels in the box, put on the gloves, and gently removed the bat from the wall where he was holding on with a death grip. He was none to happy to be removed from the premises and squealed quite loudly at me for daring to disturb him. I placed him in the box, he grabbed a hold of the paper towels and I closed the lid. Then I had to decide what to do with him as it was January and very cold outside. I came home, box and bat in hand and headed for the house. Well apparently if I am carrying a box inside the house, this is cause for suspicion and my husband asked what was in the box. "oh nothing, just putting a bat in the attic" Well you can imagine the response to this announcement. He informed me that the vents to the attic had screen wire over them and the bat wouldn't be able to get out come spring. I felt pretty sure the bat could figure it out, but didn't protest. Instead I took him to a farrowing house on the backside of our property, and placed him inside above a heater. I never saw him after that. Hopefully he lived.