Sunday, June 19, 2011


The other night we were sitting in the living room. The TV was on and Lee was lying on the couch, sleepily watching HGTV. He turns that channel on frequently, the better to indulge his home-renovation-dream-house-building fantasies. Harper and I were sitting in “my” chair, which has the best light, so that I could read or do embroidery, occasionally getting sucked into the HGTV story lines. I like Property Virgins because they make me feel house-savvy, and I like Mike Holmes because he is so indignant and self-righteous and the home owners he saves from disreputable contractors are so gullible.
Suddenly something seems to be flying around the living room ceiling. Neither Harper nor Lee reacts. “Lee,” I whisper urgently. “There’s a big bug flying around!” Lee opens one eye, and then another. “That’s no bug,” he says, “that’s a bat!”
Harper Doesn''t Care About Bats
I proceed to cower in my chair. Harper doesn’t move. It’s not a squirrel or a robin, so she’s not interested. Lee gets up and turns on more lights. The bat is now swooping around frantically. Lee opens the front door, and the bat flies outside. What a brilliant man!

Where did it come from? Our fireplace is gas and well-sealed. Lee has been doing a lot of work in our attic increasing the insulation, and hasn’t noticed any holes or gaps. We assume this must be a one-time oddity.
Sunny Living Room Where the Bat First Appeared

But one night just a day or two later, around 3 am, we hear a strange sound. One of the windows is open and to me it sounds like the window shade is flapping. I turn over and try to ignore it. My usual attitude when I’m awake at night is to pretend that I’m asleep. I never want to admit to myself that I’m actually awake. But the flapping sound continues and it becomes harder to ignore. Suddenly Lee gets out of bed. Lee has an amazing ability to go from a sound sleep to fully awake in a matter of seconds. This can be dangerous if the phone should happen to ring at night. He can leap out of bed and say hello before his body has actually fully awakened, causing object to cascade across night stands. 
Peaceful Bedroom - The Second Bat's Destination
This time he once again starts turning on all the lights. It is another bat! I bravely throw the blankets over my head and shut my eyes tightly, but my hero once again opens the front door and the bat flies right outside.
That does it, I announced. We’ve got to find out where these bats are coming from. I know bats can be very beneficial, and I’m happy they are outside eating up our mosquito hordes, but that’s where I want them, outside!

I find a company that will come and inspect our house, find out where the bats are gaining access, and then help prevent them from coming back inside. Lee goes up in the attic again and hunts for openings, or any signs of bat habitation, but doesn’t find anything. Then he inspects the outside of the house, and finds several places between the roof and the walls that look like this:


A pretty likely bat entryway, wouldn’t you say? We’re going ahead and having the bat-busters come and inspect the house, but hopefully the problems they find can be fixed by Lee. Apparently, making one’s house bat-proof can be a fairly expensive proposition. But I don’t like the thought of another bat getting inside when Lee is out of town. I suppose if I must I can be the one to turn on all the lights and open the front door, but the thought still gives me the creeps. All I know is that if what happened to a friend of mine happens to me, Harper and I will be checking into a hotel. Well, wait a minute, this happened to them IN a hotel…They had a bat in their hotel room. They chased it into the bathroom, but it got out. My friend woke up to see the bat crawling up the side of the bed, less than 10 feet from her head. Her husband got up, took the screen off the hotel room window, somehow got the bat to crawl onto the screen, and then threw the screen, with the bat still attached, out the window!  I don’t think they got a lot of sleep that night.

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