Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to the Wild Kingdom

I no longer need to go to the zoo. Apparently my home has become a home of the living and not so living wild.

How many bats does that make now?!?!?

A few weeks ago my husband was out of town for work. I was getting our daughter ready for daycare and myself ready for work. Our three dogs were acting strange…more wound up than normal. I didn’t think much of it except it was rather irritating to not be able to walk without having a dog under foot.

As I was about to walk downstairs, I found the source of the dog anxiety. There was a bat sitting on the ceiling above the stairs. I ducked into my room with my daughter to hide and considered my options. I could attempt to chase away the bat with a racket like my husband normally does, or I could just open a window and hope the bat decides to leave while I’m at work. I decided on the latter option. I am in favor of passivism. Make love not war, right?

I grab a towel to throw over our heads as I ran downstairs in case there was a sudden dive attack. My daughter thought this was a very fun unusual way to get start her day. I locked the dogs downstairs (last thing I needed was a dog chasing the bat out the open second story window.) I mentioned to my daycare provider we had a bat in the house, and she offered her husband’s help if the bat didn’t leave on his own accord. I told her I might have to take her up on that, but I was pretty sure the bat would leave.

Now, I usually do okay with things that are kinda of “icky.” I’ve cleaned up feces and vomit atrocities. I have killed spiders that have made my husband squeal like a girl. I have killed snakes and picked up various dead items my killer westie brings me. I just can’t deal with bats. I didn’t have my first encounter until I was in college. I had moved into a house off campus and was living with my brother that had just started college. We had just come home from his first college gathering. He was attempting to unlock the front door on our screened in porch, and all of a sudden something black swooped down at him. He screamed, fell into the kitchen and promptly locked me out. Then, he refused to open the door for me. He was in no state to deal with the black bomb on the porch anyways. I went to a house party next door and implored one of the six male roommates to take care of the problem. One of the knights in shining armor, or rather in his collar popped polo shirt, put down his beer cup and grabbed a golf glove from his car and went to work. I didn’t point out that his glove of choice was covered in holes and therefore, not all that protective from a bat bite. He picked the bat up and threw it outside. End of story. Eventually I convinced my brother to let me in the house again.

Second time, my brother had moved out and my new husband had moved in. My husband was on a hunting trip, and I took a late night shopping trip. I experienced a similar surprise attack on the screened in porch. Unfortunately, this time my party loving neighbors had been replaced by a nutty gun fanatic dad with an equally nutty family. I didn’t have any guy friends in town, and no girlfriends willing to deal with the rodent. So, I did the logical thing in this situation……. I called the police. 

Now, I didn’t call 911. I did call the non-emergency line (although I’m not sure how much that really matters since it was 3:00 am.) I explained if this wasn’t something they dealt with, it was okay but I would really appreciate some help. The dispatcher was nice and said if an officer was available, she would send him over. I propped the front door open and sat on my front steps (a safe distance from the creature) and waited for the officer to show up. I saw the cop car coming down the street, breathed a sigh of relief, and just then, the bat decided he had enough of this show. He flew out the front door, and I stood there both relieved and a little irritated that I now had to tell the officer he wasn’t needed. The officer was polite enough about it, but I learned that the police *probably* aren’t the ones to deal with bat situations in the future.

So after work, I am driving home and am trying to amp myself up to deal with the bat in case he hasn’t decided to vacate the premises on his own. I try to reason with my over active imagination. What is the worst that is going to happen? I get bit? I would just catch the bat to get it checked for rabies. Worse case scenario I would get the rabies vaccine. Some mid-day work Googling had confirmed pregnant woman can in fact get the vaccine. If I took proper precautions, there’s no reason I couldn’t prevent getting bit.

So, I pick my daughter up, and I’m all amped up to deal with the bat. I put “Eye of the Tiger” on repeat. I get some jeans on. I put on my boots. I go find my racquetball racket. I put on a sweatshirt, pull the hoodie strings tight and put on my never worn racquetball goggles (I knew there was a reason I saved those things). I put on some of my husband’s hunting gloves, and I’m ready to rock. I’m going to prove that I can deal with this bat.

I get up about three stairs before I turn around and run back down. I jump up and down. I shake it out. I give myself a little pep talk. I get up a few more stairs before I run back down. My daughter looks at me like I’ve probably taken up recreational drug use. I think out my plan trying to focus and motivate myself. Then I realize that I didn’t really think beyond getting all geared up. How was I going to get to the bat? I couldn’t reach it by leaning over the stairs. I suppose I had to throw something at it to get it to fly…but what if it flew downstairs where I have elevated ceilings. Then, I’d be forced to get a ladder….to do what? Chase it with a racket. I start realize my plan had significant holes. Yeah. Time for Plan B.

It took my daycare provider’s husband about 3 minutes to grab the bat and throw it out the window. I had changed back to my work clothes before calling….no need for anyone to see me in my assault gear. Thank goodness there are people out there to help in such dire bat situations.

What about the not so living wildlife?
Best Puppy Friends Forever

My husband called me yesterday while I was at work and the conversation went a little like this:

“Husband: Uh..well..mmm..I have to tell you something.

Me: What? (silently panicking because that phrase never leads to anything good.)

Husband: Well. I figured I probably should tell you before tonight.

Me: Yes, what is it? (cold sweat is starting)

Husband: Well, you’re going to want to wash the sheets really really well tonight.”

At this point, I’m figuring that we’ve got something like bed bugs or fleas or there was another f**** bat in our bedroom. I have a very paranoid view of bed bugs and fleas. I’m terrified of getting them. The minute I get even a fleck of dirt on our mattress or I see something on the dogs, I freak out.

He goes on to explain why I need to wash the sheets “really really well.” He had gotten done early from school, put our daughter down for her nap and then decided he would take a nap himself. He is laying in the bed sans glasses when our little westie comes running up the stairs with this hedgehog toy our dogs love in her mouth. She is running around the bedroom with it in her mouth and our German Shorthair Pointer is chasing her. This is a pretty regular occurrence. Our westie is the “alpha” dog and often walks around taunting the pointer with toys. She even shakes her tail at him to tease him. So, this is going on for a few minutes. Husband keeps hearing the tapping of the dog feet on the hardwood as she wanders around, a whine from the shorthair and then a growl from the westie.
Finally, Husband gets sick of this tapping, whining, growling routine and calls the westie up to take away the toy. She jumps up and like she normally does, she goes in for a kiss/shove toy in your face to show off what she’s got. Only, now that it’s actually on his face, Husband notices it isn’t the hedgehog toy. It’s a dead chipmunk. He must have made some sort of noise, because she decided to be really nice and set the dead chipmunk on my pillow. I’m such a lucky mom. I get the best gifts.

So, the sheets got bleached and scathed with hot water, and my westie got another bath. So goes life in the wild kingdom of my home.


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