Monday, August 11, 2008

The Dark Night

I am an experienced whippet owner. Fourteen years of life with efficient killing machines capable of decapitating a plastic bag at 35 miles per hour without a second thought. They’ve dug to china for a mole, climbed fruit trees to get squirrels, one actually jumped out of a boat to get a frog, and the close encounters with possums and bunnies are too numerous to mention. The frenzied game of “Hey, Lets Kill Kitty” a few years ago left two dogs, the cat AND me all in emergency clinics. The only dog unscathed in that fiasco was the one wearing a funnel collar due to injuries sustained in a round of “Lets Get The Border Collie” the previous week.

Most of these incidents that call on my carcass removal skills and the occasional need to manually assist Thumper to a better place have been, mercifully, outside. Travis did try to bring a live possum in through the dog door one night in Bellingham, but it was, thankfully, too big and he couldn’t make it fit sideways.

So I actually laughed at Rob when he wanted to keep the dog door closed at night so “creatures” can’t come in. The dog door, I condescendingly pointed out, leads to a chain link kennel. With a cover. Nothing is coming in the dog door besides our dogs and our cats. Besides, I’ve lived for almost 13 ½ years with a dog door without any kind of wildlife raiding the fridge for beer, or tuning in to HBO at 3a.m. (I conveniently left out the bit about the possum. No sense borrowing trouble). Besides, closing the dog door at night defeated half the purpose for the dog door in the first place – Nike’s getting to be an old guy, and he likes to make a 2am trip out to inspect the fence. I conveyed politely to Rob that we could close the dog door at night only if HE wanted to supervise fence inspecting. If I’m living in a house with a dog door, I ain’t getting up with the dogs.

So, the dog door has stayed open at night without incident until a few weeks ago. Frankly, I think the whole affair was a publicity stunt, timed with the release of the new movie.

3:36 a.m. – All is quiet. Not a creature is stirring, except the cats are making quite racket running around the living room. This is not particularly unusual. But it does wake me up.
3:38 a.m. – “Dad” I wasn’t sure I really heard Nick, so I didn’t wake up Rob and waited to see if I heard him again.
3:39 a.m. – “Dad” Nick is now outside the bedroom door. “Dad, there’s a bat in my room.” “What?” Rob is somewhat awake. “There’s a bat in my room. The cats are chasing it around.” Nick bails for the bathroom.
3:40 a.m. “How does Nick know there’s a bat in the house, he’s supposed to be in bed asleep.” I am sitting up in bed waiting to see how the crisis will be handled. Clearly with all this testosterone in the house I am surely exempt from dealing with garbage, light bulbs, and fruit bats.
3:45 a.m. – Nick and Rob continue to argue about the presence of the bat. Rob settles on denial as the best defense “There’s no bat, so shut your door and go sleep on the couch” Nick continues to argue that he’s not, er, batty. The cat scuffling is getting more frantic.
3:47a.m. – Apparently my gender exemption ends at light bulbs. I put on my Joker make-up and my bathrobe and get up to help Nick. Rob is clearly useless. I poke my head in Nick’s room and watch the poor bat flutter helplessly against the wall. WHOOSH – I duck as the bat nearly dive bombs me heading for the living room.

“Get the cats and lock them in your room.” I tell Nick. We finally corral the cats so I can open the front door. Note that Nike hasn’t even bothered to get out of bed. Rob ventures out just once to witness a fly-by and half-pikes back into the bedroom slamming the door behind him.

3:55a.m. – The badly confused and frightened bat makes several laps of the house. The skylight is somehow particularly confusing. Finally, he lucks out and finds the open door and escapes into the night.

The discussion about how the bat got in is brief. One of the cats had to have caught him and brought him in through the dog door. The whippets, I point out, have no interest in bats. Nike never got out of bed, remember? The only other possibility is that we have a whole attic full of bats.

We’ll never know, because Rob won’t look, and I don’t climb ladders. That’s too much like changing a light bulb.


Patience-please said...

Do you have a chimney or an attic? That's how most bats come in. We used to get them all the time. When Bill and I were engaged, I called him at 4:30 AM and said, "Bill, there's a bat in my apartment."
He paused, and then replied, "Oh. Call me when there's not." And hung up.

Anonymous said...

I would have run screaming through the front door and never returned. There would have been a for-sale sign in the front yard the next day. I hate things that fly. Yes even butterflies.

storyteller said...

I’m playing catch up today … reading posts in my reader (thanks for including the whole thing like I do so I can maximize the little bit of time I have). I loved your ‘return of the blog’ post …(complete with illustrations) but this BAT STORY made me stop to comment … just because it reminds me of the bats that DID live in the rafters of my brother’s house in Oceanside for many years …(occasionally flying around their bedroom and through the house at night) and pretty much impossible to get rid of. I’m glad yourz is a ‘one time thing’ and that you’ve got catz and folks to help you out with such things.
Hugs and blessings,

Jenn and the City

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Thanks Patience!

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