On Sunday nights, I talk with our son and three grandsons (3,5,7) who live in another state. As you might imagine, we have some interesting conversations. The seven-year-old and I exchange bad jokes and good riddles; the five-year-old asks me what I had to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and the three-year-old’s fallback is “Monster Truck Jam!” (He went to one about a year ago and it apparently left an indelible impression). But one recent Sunday night, I actually had the most interesting thing to talk about. I was one the phone with our son and the three-year-old when I heard Janice saying in a loud voice, “We’ve got a bat in the house!”
Sure enough, we did. He was doing a flyover in our in the living room. I told my son we had a bat in the house and would call them back. I went to the garage to grab a couple of fishing nets. It was reflexive because we had lived in a house with a chimney years ago and had all sorts of critters drop in for visits (bats, birds, flying squirrels, lizards, etc.). But when I came back into the living room—he had vanished—and we couldn’t find him anywhere!
We did a thorough search of every room, making all kinds of noise in hopes of rousing him (I realized later this probably had the opposite effect). We shut the door of two rooms where we knew he couldn’t be (the guest bathroom and our bedroom). Then we went online and learned the best thing to do was to turn your lights off, make no noise, and open a door to the outside. Since bats navigate through sonar more than sight, they would hear the sound of the outdoors and fly toward it. We did this but couldn’t see well enough to tell if the bat had gone outside or not.
I called my son and updated him and our seven-year-old grandson on the story (the other two had fallen sleep). He had lots of questions about what was going on and I told him if he had been here, we would have found that bat and he agreed. Janice and I then retreated into the safety of our secured bedroom and went to sleep.
I made some calls the next morning and a local service said they would be out that afternoon. I returned a call I had missed from my son. He was about to go home for lunch and said he needed an update because the boys would be asking questions. I told him we hadn’t seen the bat since I last spoke with him. They guy from the animal service never showed and when I called, he was about to crawl under someone’s house, so we made arrangements for him to come out the next afternoon. But by that time, it didn’t seem to matter as much because I’d been in the house a fair amount of the day and there had still been no sound or sight of a bat.
That night we were in the bedroom (which had remained shut all day . . . just in case). We were in bed and I was on my screen and Janice was on hers when suddenly—the bat appeared out of nowhere and did a flyover right across our bed!!! We immediately pulled the covers over our heads. My mood had changed considerably from the night before. Then it was a novelty—exciting and kind of funny. But as we hunkered under the covers, I saw things quite differently. The bat had violated protected airspace.
This was war!