It’s been so hot this past week that I’ve taken to walking at night for exercise. Three-three-three: three miles, at three miles per hour, at least three times a week. These “midnight constitutionals” have been a time for me to get into better shape, enjoy the outdoors, and gain a little knowledge listening to books on my .mp3 player.
Last night, however, I returned home to more excitement than I bargained for. As neared home, I thought it was odd that the entire backyard was glowing. Every light in the house must have been on! Angie greeted me at the door, which was strange because she had gone to bed before I left. She was speaking so fast I had trouble understanding her. I finally made out that she thought there was a bat in the house, and that she had trapped it in the bathroom.
I needed some water, lots of water, and a few minutes to dry off all the sweat from my walk. As I proceeded to do both of these things, Angie continued on with her narrative.
She started hearing the bat right after I left, so it had probably flown in the door as I went outside. She got up to see what the banging was, and the bat darted past her into the bedroom and ultimately into our master bath where she turned the lights on and slid the door closed. Then she went to her computer to research about what to do about bats that enter homes. She found out that they tend to get confused when they are in a lighted room, but will soon “roost” or find a high place to settle and rest. She found that you could throw a towel over them to catch them and take them outside, or you could find a wide-mouthed container to catch it in. She had gone through our recycling bin to find two such containers – a big plastic peanut container and an Oxyclean tub. She even found a video on YouTube of someone catching a bat in such a container.
I had finished two glasses of water and soaked my workout towel drying off by the time Angie’s elaboration had slowed down to, “what are you going to do about it?” I told her I thought I’d take a look. “It might just be a really big moth,” Angie finally said. I opened the door and immediately saw it roosting above our shower. It was clearly not a moth, but a small, mouse-sized, furry brown bat. It wasn’t moving much at all.
“Okay,” I said to Angie as she closed the bathroom door behind us. “Did your research come up with any advice about how to do this?” “Yes – stay calm,” she said, her voice clearly not calm. I turned back to the bat, empty tub in my hand. I slowly, slowly, closed on it and covered it with the tub. I heard a little flutter, but not much else. I slid the lid up between the opening and the wall where it had roosted until I had it enclosed.
“Yes!” Angie shrieked with excitement. We both proceeded outside (far away from the front door) to release the mosquito-eater back into the wild. I took it to the base of a tree, opened the lid, and let it gently roll out to the ground. Almost immediately, it fluttered back to life and took off.
So I guess that’s the happy ending to our midnight adventure!
Myotis lucifugus = little brown bat