Bat in the Belfry

I’m not sure what a belfry is, but I do know what a bat is.  We had one in our bedroom…again.

The first time was more than 6 years ago, back in Portland in our house on NE Killingsworth.  Great neighborhood.  Bus stop in front of the house, a drive-by shooting, street closed down for police action – twice. All of that happened in the space of three and a half years.  One time the police even used our house to wire-tap a neighbor’s home where a hostage was being held.  Good times.

Anyhoo, one evening in August, Jonathon and I were watching “So You Think You Can Dance”.  Wait, that’s familiar.  We were in our tiny living room on the main floor.  I was very pregnant with Ruby.  Suddenly, something caught my eye.  Reflected in the mantle mirror, a baby bat circled the room.  It chased the ceiling fan around.  It knocked into the mirror. The only light in the room was a leftover glow from the sun. 

We jumped up.  Jonathon shooed me out of the room.  He put on his blue coveralls – leftover from a previous project – and grabbed a broom.  We knew bats carried rabies.  But this bat was tiny and disoriented.  What to do?

We thought we got it out.  We opened the front door.  But no.  It kept flapping around helplessly.  Finally, Jonathon called Animal Control and told them our situation.  The wonderful people told him not to hurt the bat.  What?!  At this point, I was wishing for a gun, , a net, or at least a phaser. 

Finally, we went to bed.  Only…the bat had flown upstairs and fell asleep on the back of our door, apparently, because the next night he was flying around our small low-ceilinged bedroom, bonking his miniature head on said ceiling. I don’t remember how we got him out, only that we were both pretty wired after that.

Fast forward tot his morning.  It was about 4 a.m.  I couldn’t sleep anymore so I thought I’d get up and read Bible and get ready to workout.  I put my sweatshirt on and started to head downstairs, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed something flying around the ceiling of our bedroom.  A bat!  I woke Jonathon up.  He ushered me into the study. He got dressed and shoved a blanket around the base of our bedroom door so the bat couldn’t crawl out.  We were wise to the buggers now.

He didn’t get nearly as upset as the last time.  He didn’t need to call animal control. He calmly plucked the broom and mop from the downstairs and headed back into the bedroom. I suggested opening the backdoor that goes out to the rotting staircase on the back side of the house.  Our bedroom used to be a separate apartment and the staircase serves as a reminder.  He opened the backdoor with the lights on.  He turned off the box fan in our window, as he’d since learned that bats are confused by fans, their noise and air circulation, and it interferes with their sonar.  After a few minutes, he closed the door. He checked around for any other stray animals (raccoons?) or a hidden bat.  Finding nothing,  he closed up the room.

Then he came into the study.  We have a spare bed in there and so he went back to bed and I headed downstairs.

There you have it.  We don’t know how it got in, either time. Is it gone?  Your guess is as good as mine. We wish it well. We are…bat magnets.

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