We had quite the adventure in our house last night. Just as I was shutting down some programs on my computer to head off to bed, Kev says "no WAY, there's a bat in the house!" I turned around to look and in that 5 seconds he was already curled up into the fetal position on the couch, pointing out to the enclosed porch between the game room and kitchen.
Of course in my mind I immediately think of several reasonable possibilities to counter poor Kevin's delusions, because a BAT IN MY HOUSE is simply out of the question. First I think no, it's one of those great big moths we often get here (forget the fact that we never have them until July - we never have BATS until then either!), and the shadows he's seeing flying around the light in the other room are from that big ole harmless moth. That would have been a lovely explanation. Then I saw it too, and realized "moth" was out of the question. So then I think "bird!". Yes indeed, a bird in the house would be completely acceptable and reasonable, since we have them in the garage year round, and the kids often leave the garage door open. A bird in the house is fun, you get to take pictures and then catch him and let him outside. Then you all get to talk about how lovely birds are, and wonderfully and beautifully created. Alas, it was not to be - that little beast with flapping leathery wings and fangs as long as my arm flying around the light in the other room was definitely not a bird.
FINE, I had to accept the fact that this was indeed a bat. In my house. IN FEBRUARY. All of these thoughts went through my head in about 60 seconds. The very next thought was "where is my badminton racket!?" OH YES, GAME ON!
Eventually the bat made his way upstairs, and Kev went to get the racket bag. Each of us heavily armed, we slowly made our way upstairs to find the spooky creature. As I've told Kev, there's a reason all the creepiest of the old scary movies feature THIS house (long, ornate, wooden stair case, with the sound of wind whistling through the cracks in the house, wallpapered walls, etc.), and as we made our way up the stairs (trying hard not to panic/laugh/freak out all at the same time) I was sure I could hear pipe organ music. I half expected Boris Karloff to come around the corner at any moment.
It took Kev a long time to get up his nerve to whack the bat, once we found it. We were ready for an impromptu game of BATminton upstairs, but thankfully we didn't have to do that. The vile little beast was hanging off the drapes at the top of the stairs. Eventually, after much prompting and pep talks telling Kev to pretend he was Jack Bauer taking down a terrorist and me giggling nervously, clutching my own racket from the saftey of the bathroom... he made his way to the drapes. BOOM! And the bat was down. I immediately scooped him into a bag along with my racket and relocated him to the deck, while Kevin recovered from his almost-heart attack and adrenaline rush that could have prompted him to run a few miles.
The biggest problem with having a bat in the house (aside from the blind panic he'll cause perfectly rational, mature adults) is that he might have rabies. We don't know if he came in through the attic and spent time upstairs around the sleeping kids, or if he came in through the basement and never went anywhere near the kids. Its the unknowing that is the problem. So, I called the hospital at 1:15 am (it took us forever to finally bag him and get him out of the house) and they put me in touch with the emergency after hours folks for the local health unit. By 2am I finally got a call back by a nice lady who took down all the details. Someone would be calling by 9am to make arraingments to come pick up the bat and send him off for rabies testing.
By the time all was said and done, it was 3am and Kev and I were both half-convinced every little sound was another bat. That's quite a creepy feeling, I'll tell you! I reminded Kevin that it's a REALLY good time to once again discuss moving out of this old Bela Lugosi movie set, and into a real house in town. At 3am he was all for it, and went further to suggest a nice little sealed room where nice attendants bring your meals on shiney trays, three times a day.
The health unit people just called, and they'll be along smartly to pick up the bat. They requested I write down the names, DOBs and weight of each kid potentially exposed, for vaccination information should it be needed. Lets all hope BIG TIME that the bat was not rabid, and the kids do not have to go through that miserable procedure. We should know more by mid-week.
Kev's last comment around 3am was along the lines of "of all the reasons we miss church in the winter..." I'm still shaking off the creepies, and only half awake at 9:30. Oh yes, it is HIGH TIME to relocate off the movie set, and into a real, bat-free house, in town.
The Bat Man called this morning. The bat tested negative for rabies. WHEW.