The bat days of summer

In the 14 years we have lived here, we have had a handful of bats fly in for a visit. PETA can picket me if they want, but not all of the little critters made it out alive.

My rule has always been one of kindness and understanding, love for my fellow creature and a distinct sense that we are all part of the circle of life.

Until you come into the home where my children are sleeping and then I will kill you so quick you won’t know what hit you — except that you will because whatever it is that hits you will be the last thing you see before I send you to hell, you flying rabid monster of death.

So, as you can see, I don’t overreact or anything.

Advice

Meanwhile, a dear friend was living her own bat nightmare when not one, not two, but something like a dozen or more bats entered her home in the space of a few days.

I, considering myself somewhat a veteran of the bat wars, gave her much commiseration and helpful advice. New roof, nets, and chimney caps, said I! Furthermore, try not to panic, I advised.

Safe and sound

Last year, we had a new roof installed, our chimney capped and exclusion netting added to our home. Since then, I hadn’t seen a single bat in the house and that alone makes a person quite smug.

Until last night.

I was dozing lightly in bed, reading lamp lit, pretending that I wasn’t falling asleep and “sccrttcchh…”

Wha… What’s that?

“scrrtcchchh … crinkle … scratch …”

Who or What is crinkling plastic in my bedroom at 11:30 p.m.?

My eyes snapped open and there, emerging from my gorgeous water blue silk drape, was a tiny brown ball.

My drapes, I distinctly remember, were definitely brown ball free when installed.

Call 9-1-1! Clearly this was a time to stay calm. Stay cool. Stay collected.

Thus, I did what any other role model and mother would do — I screamed “bat!” so loud they could hear me in the next county and hit Mr. Wonderful so hard in my dive across the bed that I momentarily knocked the wind out of him.

The bat, clearly, had somewhat the same misgivings about the screaming human because I swear we locked eyes (yeah, I know, blind as a … but go with me here) and the bat was probably screaming “human!” at the exact same time.

He then did what bats DO that makes them so unpopular at parties and began to flap in a panic around our bedroom.

It was huge! Let me assure that a “small brown bat” is NOT at all “small” when exhibiting their pterodactyl-size wing-span in the confines of your bedroom. No, they are big. With fangs. I think this one might have been eyeballing our cat as a possible snack.

That is when I died on the spot.

No? Well I WAS scrambling around and screaming “Bat! Bat!” because a) panic always helps a situation; and b) there is always the risk that Mr. Wonderful thought I just smacked the snot out of him for no reason and would perhaps drift back to sleep if not for my screaming.

At this point, poor Mr. Wonderful, was thrust into Man Mode which means, of course, that he was going to deal with the flapping vermin while I cowered and possibly cried a little.

I recall him screaming “get OUT of the room!” While this sounds romantic, my hero to save me, I strongly suspect it was more because at that point I was more annoying — and possibly harmful — than the bat. The bat wasn’t flailing and screaming and thus, technically, was making a better bedfellow.

Run

So I ran out into the hallway, slammed the door, and then became immediately suspicious of every shadow in our old house — of which there are many.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wonderful opened a window and urged by his tossing books and pillows in the general direction, the bat was lured out the window and into the night.

Today I stand corrected (and very much squeamish). I am done giving advice and full up to here with the annual bat situation.

I don’t care about nesting patterns and maternal mating habits. I don’t care about their awesome insect-eating abilities, or the fact that they “probably” aren’t rabid.

I’ve come to the conclusion, in my sleep-deprived state (because if you think I slept a wink last night, you’re crazy) that all the netting and gap closing won’t do the job.

I am so over these bats. We are done. There has GOT to be a more permanent way to rid our home of them.

So, no real reason and just making conversation here, but does anyone happen to know if bats are flammable?

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt wishes no harm to any bats who don’t live in her house. She welcomes comments c/o lifeoutloud@comcast.net, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460 or www.KymberlyFosterSeabolt.com.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

2 Comments

  1. Rebecca Hively says:

    Can ALWAYS count on you for a good badly needed chuckle! Thanks!

  2. Kymberly says:

    Thank you Rebecca! I hope everyone takes it in the humorous spirit intended. I am not a bat-hater when they live in the barn or nice little bat houses specifically constructed for them. I love them like my own furry children when they are eating up mosquitoes around the pool. It’s only when they end up winging around my kids – or my head – that I freak out!

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