The bats of winter

I have no idea why bats don’t have a bigger market share PR-wise. They aren’t a common toy, nursery decor or fashion accessory. I don’t believe any major sport teams are named after them.

I don’t know why because to peruse the Internet for even five clicks is to discover that bats are pretty popular. Generally with people who don’t have them in their living room.

Press

If you do even a rudimentary Internet search on bats you will find a lot of bat love out there. Bats outside are good, necessary, practically saints. I get it. I’m as big a fan of any flying, possibly diseased creature that is not where I sleep as the next person.

It’s when they want to share a bathroom with me that I start getting a little protective of my “space.”

Bat website authors seem convinced I’d be more welcoming if only I were properly informed. (I’m telling you bats are popular. They should have their own line of jerseys and ball caps).

Even on websites that feature the word “nuisance” prominently in their keywords, the bat-washed authors spend an inordinate amount of column space informing me of the bat’s benefit to the environment and their need to raise their pups in the comfort and security of my home.

This doesn’t sway a fellow mother like you might think. I want to raise my pups in a secure environment too. Preferably disease free.

Having enjoyed an entire bat-free summer, I had all but given up my one-woman crusade against bats as house pets. Then one flew into my son’s bedroom. In Ohio. In February. Seriously who does this happen to? Even Mr. Wonderful (when we called him at work) said “only you.”

Hunt

I was minding my own business prepared to settle in for the night with my fuzzy socks, fluffy blankets and a good book when the sound of thumps and random bellows came from my son’s room. Above it all came the one, discernible battle cry: “BAT!”

The neighbor boy was sleeping over and if there is anything better than one amped up teenage boy bent on total destruction of the invader in our midst — it’s two.

The boys did what any two Boy Scouts with hunting prowess would do. They grabbed an Air Soft rifle (harmless plastic bbs), a bucket, a small hatchet (no lie) and an assortment of rope. The latter in case we were going to hog tie the bat I suppose.

Our daughter was hobbling around on an ankle sprained just hours earlier (because that’s how our day had gone). She was most concerned with her cat. The cat was convinced that he could probably reach the bat if only we’d give up this wholly unhealthy attachment to our knick knacks and drapes.

Add to this mix the adorable Mr. Wonderful who thinks he’s a comedian on the phone cracking jokes.

Me: “This always happens when we have company!”

Him: “Quit having company then. They bring bats.”

We have replaced the windows. We have replaced the roof. My house wore netting on the eves for an entire season as if in mourning. How are the bats getting in? Do they pick the locks when we’re gone?

We prowled the house. Two boys armed and at the ready, a hobbling girl whining about her cat, and a mother muttering that she couldn’t make this stuff up.

From time to time when I write about bats and mice and, oh I don’t know, the plague of locusts that is likely coming next, people respond with “you have got to be making this up!”

Really? If I were inventing a new persona, a whole new life for myself out of whole cloth, you don’t think I’d make up something a bit more glamorous?

“I’m a perfect size 6 with an English country manor and a pool boy” sounds better than “I have a bat in my bedroom. Again.”

Exit

After much banging, at least one barrage of bbs into my living room, and the cat being “rescued” from the bat whether he needed it or not, the bat was escorted into the great outdoors. I hope he’s happy. I haven’t relaxed for days.

Meanwhile our cat has been engaged in a campaign to give me the heebie-jeebies. He stares randomly into corners and crevices and warily at high corners. This is either smart hunting on his part or a cruel practical joke “Ha! Made you look!”

Our son, I am proud to say, has turned into quite the bat hunter (children do learn what they live). Nonetheless, I think the most unnecessary sentence ever uttered was this: “Scream if you see a bat mom.”

Oh thank you. I will.

I promise.

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

One Comment

  1. tattytiara says:

    “Quit having company then. They bring bats.”

    Well you have to admit, that is pretty funny.

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