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Sunday, September 7, 2008


Eleven o'clock P.M. and I am already in bed, evening meds downed, teeth flossed and brushed.

From the kitchen I hear one of those involuntary female blood curdling screams that only a woman can emit when she sees one of two things: a rat or a bat.

I am out of bed in a flash, heading for the sound, now making sounds of my own: "What the hell is it?"
"It's a bat!!" Kim screams and we both immediately begin to try to corral the kittens as they are following the bat's every flight movement and looking to pounce on it if it comes in range.

This, above all else, we do not want!

In a minute or two, we have established a "safe room" in the bed room. Kim and the kittens huddle in there while I try to figure out just how I am gong to kill a bat that has full range of an A-frame house which is almost 40 feet high at its peak!

The bat continues to try to find its way out, flying end to end, circling from the loft to the front of the house.

"Where's the broom?" I shout to Kim.
"In the basement", she calls back.
"Get it!" I command, keeping an eye on the flight of the winged intruder.

This is not something she wants to do, but she slips out of the bed room and tiptoes down to the basement to retrieve the broom, then after depositing it on the floor outside the bed room, she slips back into the safety of it.

The bat lands.

Three feet from the very peak of the 40 foot ceiling on a rafter. The broom is useless.

I remember the snow scraper with the 10 foot extensions that I use to remove snow from the A-frame in winter build ups. Hoping for the best, I open the sliding doors to the deck, then head out to the garage.

I have difficulty locating the scraper but finally do, return to the house with the sections in tow in hopes of looking up at the rafter to find the winged monstrosity gone --- but no such luck.

I assemble the unwieldy scraper and start lifting it, scraper blade first towards the hanging draculean offspring. I inch closer and closer -- it takes to the air and I lose sight of it!

I then go to the garage and get my fish net, which is on a long handle, and duct tape it to the snow scraper, first removing the section that has the blade. Still no sign of the bat.

I get a flashlight and search every beam -- no bat. I finally give up and join the rest of my "family". We decide that we had best hole up in the bed room for the rest of the night so I get the kitty food and the cat box with litter and move them all into the bed room.

Kim insists that I close the deck doors for fear of letting God knows what else into the house overnight if left open.

I return to the bed room and we convince ourselves that the bat has flown out the open door without my seeing it.

The next morning we cautiously leave the relative safety of the bed room and spend the day nervously looking upwards. I examine the house for openings to try to figure out how the little bastard got in in the first place. the only thing I find is an open flu in the basement which was put there when the house was built in case the owner wanted to add a stove in the basement.

I go to Menards and purchase a batten of fiberglass insulation and stuff the chimney flu tightly.

Saturday night arrives. Darkness descends. Midnight. No sign of a bat. Satisfied that we have won, we go to bed, letting the kittens have the run of the house.

Three AM. I awaken. I want an Oreo. I round the corner of the bed room door and look down the long hallway. I see a small pile of what I think, from my observation point, is kitten throw up.
"IT'S THE DAMN BAT!" my brain screams. Thanking my lucky stars that the kittens have been sleeping with us, I close the bed room door quietly and wish to hell I hadn't returned the broom to the basement.

My mind is racing to what I read after googling "bats": 'bats need to get a start in flying by dropping from some place high and then putting the wings in gear -- they are almost helpless if on the ground'.

Still -- this one is moving and wants to get away. finally I remember the recent purchase of a Bissell non-motorized carpet sweeper which is just inside the bed room door. I seize it and make my move, smashing it straight down on the bat, much like tamping cement.

Bam! Bam! Bam! I hit him three times without checking for results. One of the bristled rollers skitters across the floor! Now I check him and he is not doing very well -- still jerking a bit. I discard the sweeper in favor of the flat ash shovel near the fireplace and deliver one more flattening blow, scoop the thing up in the shovel, throw open the deck door and flip him out onto the deck.. well, I thought onto the deck.

I return to Kim in the bed room and I don't need to tell her what h as happened. She has heard the battle. But now I am "adrenalized". It is an amazing drug. I babble for some time before I stop fidgeting and attempt to get back to sleep.

Next morning in the light of day, I find him in the position you see in the photo, on the metal patio table which sits on the deck.

I manage to get the bristle roller back in place on the carpet sweeper, but the handle has a bit of a lean to the left.

PLEASE! NO MORE BATS! one is enough.


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