Late Night Chiroptophobia

Once in a while, you experience something so surreal, that when you look back on it you question if you’re remembering it right or if the details have become exaggerated in your mind. This is one of those times. So no kidding there I was…

Last night, Dylan woke me up in the middle of the night. Like a quarter after two middle of the night. “Honey, there’s something you’ve gotta see,” he told me.

I pulled myself out of bed, put my bathrobe on, and followed him to the top of the stairs. No glasses, still mostly asleep. “What? What is it?”

“There’s something flying around that got in the house.” He started down the stairs and stopped as it flew toward him. Surprised, he took a seat on the steps and scooted back. “Son of a —-ing —–! It’s a bat!”

Now I’ve been called “not right” on many occasions, one of those being when I expressed the opinion that I think bats are cute. I moved past him on the stairs, and in my sleepy state I see a small brown blurry object flying counterclockwise through the living room. The dogs are freaking out. They’re jumping around every time it gets to their side of the room and I can see Brooklyn jumping and snapping at it, as if he thinks we’ve bought him a really cool new flying squeaky toy.

“Brooklyn no! Get down!” Dylan keeps yelling to the dogs, who aren’t listening in the slightest, as I get to the foot of the stairs. “The fishing net! Use the fishing net!”

I grab the large, extendable handled fishing net that we have for when we go fishing in the boat and extend the first section of the handle. The bat circles around again and I lift the net to snag it out of the air like a pro Lacrosse player. “Got him!”

Now, however, I’m faced with a new dilemma. This bat is only about two and a half to three inches long in its body with a five to six inch wingspan. The fishing net is about a foot and a half in diameter. I start spinning it to keep ahead of whichever way the bat wants to go, as if I’m twirling an oversized fork with spaghetti. As you would imagine, the bat easily got past my groggy attempts to keep it in the net.

Dylan, who had started to venture down the stairs, promptly stopped and resumed his watchful position as he continued to yell for the dogs to stay down. I got the net ready and again caught the flying critter as he came near. This time, however, I brought the net’s opening down onto the couch.

As the bat crawled along the couch in search of the net’s edge in order to escape, Dylan ordered the dogs into their houses. The bat, unable to squeeze under the net’s edge, started to squeak and began to poke his head through the holes of the net.

“He’s trying to get out!” Not knowing what else to do at this point, I gathered the net up behind the bat so he would stay trapped inside, so long as he didn’t manage to squeeze his way out of one of the dime-sized holes, and rushed to the kitchen door.

I fumbled with the door as I juggled the net, trying to hold it still and gentle so as to not hurt the little critter but secure enough that I wouldn’t have to chase him around anymore. When I got the door open, I walked outside and carefully lay the net down. The rubber mesh folded a bit, part of it resting on the squirmy and squeaking bat, but he soon wiggled free and flew away into the woods behind the house.

“He’s free,” I told Dylan, who had followed me to the door. My hands were still trembling from the adrenaline at having the winged visitor in the house. When I asked why I was the one who had to catch the bat, he replied, “Because you’re the one who likes them! I don’t! If it had been up to me he’d be dead!”

I agreed. “At least I didn’t try to pet him, or ask you to get a picture of me and him.”

Dylan gave me a funny look for that and made a comment about a series of rabies shots if I had. I do rather wish I had gotten a picture of the little guy. He was so cute and I’ve never gotten to see one that close up before. Next time, if there is a next time, I hope I have my camera ready. But as long as Dylan takes care of the bugs, spiders, and house centipedes, I’ll gladly take care of any stray bats that somehow find their way into the house.

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