We’ve had a little trouble in this room before. But this time - above all other critters I’ve encountered, above all other animals that have openly threatened me on property that does not belong to them – was the moment I knew it was time to call the moving trucks.
Upon reflection, the noise it made was pretty distinctive. I clearly remember pausing, looking around nonchalantly, attempting to locate the source of the sound. Maybe it was our overworked air conditioning unit protesting its under appreciated and unrecognized Herculean efforts in keeping our home cool as children open and close doors a hundred times a day.
Or maybe an irritating squeaky toy sent home in a McDonald’s happy meal - the ones that cost 5 cents to manufacture while pumped full of lead only to be recalled and cause hysteria in households across America - that somehow found its way under our sofa cushion?
Or maybe the baby bird, that lost its mother in an unfortunate car accident, and now nesting in my own home as a poor substitute?
Regardless, I knew it was a recognizable sound, but couldn’t quite place its origin.
I left the room to answer the phone, and a split second before lifting the receiver, my seven year old, Chandler began squealing in a high enough decibel to alert all neighborhood dogs, “MOOOMMMM, there’s a BAT IN THE HOUSE!”
I am certain this is a scenario not yet explored by those creating advertisements for Depends. Granted, I am a little young to worry about incontinence issues, but I believe there is a market for moms with young children who encounter creepy critters in their homes.
Because God is merciful and loving and omniscient, my spouse happened to be home during our troubles. There have been other occasions that have necessitated an interruption with a patient in an exam room to be informed of the latest animal to invade our home, which is always followed by a lecture on the character fall of the Boy Who Called Wolf, and how that can be applied in today’s terms and to dramatic housewives.
Nonetheless, God is good and John was home.
The evil bat had attached itself to the upper right corner of the window. Apparently, they are kind of slurpy (this is scientific) and can suction themselves to a surface in the same way the baby on board signs were once attached to car windows to in an effort to change the driving habits of all those cautioned about said baby.
A broom was not going to do the trick. John headed to the basement to MacGyver together some sort of pest control tool that would save the day and possibly my sanity. He returned with this:
At first I thought it was a back scratcher, erroneously wondering if John was going to “itch” the bat into compliance. Upon further inspection, I realized it was one of the children’s picky uppy things.
(As a side note, I have never heard of another name for this contraption. If you know of one, I would love to hear it.)
A pool net. A picky uppy thing. And a beach bag. That was his plan?
I couldn’t bear to watch his demise and ultimate transformation into a medical Vampire with questionable billing practices. I frantically gathered my offspring to the back of the house and shuffled them inside of my closet.
“But we want to watch Daddy!” they all cried in unison.
“Absolutely not. Daddy is getting ready to battle an animal with fangs with only a picky uppy thing and a pool net. If you are around him, the bat will bite you and you will get rabies and then become blind!” I countered reasonably.
(I’m not entirely certain about the blind part, but I do know that bats are blind, and if that’s the case, surely it’s contagious.)
Minutes later, John joyfully yelled, “Everybody come look!” which is all it took for my three to sprint from the closet and onto the front porch. John had snagged the bat with the picky uppy thing and placed it in the beach bag, where it flailed about until it finally fanged its way through the bottom, and then flew away.
This was all told to me second hand, as I did not follow my crew to witness the brief capture and escape from the bag.
I was too busy packing my belongings.