With a blanket over my head (since the bat was still zooming around), I went and got my bat gear. Janice stayed under the covers. When I came back into the room, she said she could hear him over by the big window and sure enough there he was—tucked away in the bottom left corner of the blinds. He was remarkably passive and made no attempt to fly off or even move when I put the fishing net over him and then slid a cup underneath to scoop him into. Bat in cup and cup covered by the net, I took him outside and released him.
Even though we had taken care of the bat—I couldn’t be positive he was the same one as the night before. Plus, I was little rattled at this point because what I had thought was a safe place (our bedroom), turned out to be bat’s lair! The fact that he was there either meant he was the the bat from last night and had been hiding there while we were slept and throughout the day, or bats were coming in somehow through our bedroom (maybe from the attic or through some ductwork).* Neither one of those scenarios were comforting!
In light of this, we decided to sleep in the sunroom—an addition we had built a few years ago. It wasn’t connected to the attic and it had a ductless cooling/heating unit, so after insuring ourselves there were no bats in there, we closed the pocket doors and went to sleep (as much as you can on a couple of couches).
The guy from the animal service failed to show up again the next day, so we called a friend who knew someone who poked around in people’s attics as a sideline. He taught physiology at a local college but when he had been an undergrad at Auburn, one of his professors was doing some research with bats and needed someone to obtain them and that’s how he got started. He explained to me that he did assessments for people now. He looked at their situations and helped them get connected with the help they needed (hopefully not the guy who had stood me up twice). I was tired and stiff from sleeping on the couch and highly motivated to get our situation resolved, so I told him we would be grateful for any help he could give us.
It turned out he was great.
He went up in our attic and searched every nook, cranny, and crevice. When he was done, he told me that our roof and attic were well-sealed—there was absolutely no sign of bat activity and he was sure it was a solitary bat that had somehow managed to get into the house. But he didn’t think it just through flew a door opened for a few seconds. That got me thinking . . .
The day before the bat appearance we had purchased an old desk at a thrift store. And yes, it was located in one of those big, older, drafty shopping center buildings that could easily have bats, or they could have been in a musty, back storeroom or come in with some older merchandise (like an older desk with plenty of drawers and cubby holes). It seemed like a better alternative to our house and of course, one we were more comfortable with.
I called my son and gave him the final accounting and told him to share however much of the story he saw fit. He mentioned that he definitely liked the desk theory and would be omitting the bedroom flyover as his wife probably wouldn’t appreciate that.
Speaking of wives, I forgot to mention that when I came back inside after releasing the bat, my wife (one of the most do-it-yourself people I know of with the notable exceptions of creepy, crawly, or flying things, gas fireplaces, and certain remote controls) told me, “YOU ARE THE MAN!” And indeed, a smarter man would have kept his mouth shut and accepted the compliment. But I had to say something about how nice it was after 41 years of marriage that I had finally achieved that status. She then amended it by saying, “Well, how about this: YOU ARE MY BATMAN!”
And no, it hasn’t died down. Like our winged visitor, it is still doing flyovers. When we celebrated my birthday a couple of weeks after the incident, she gave me a card addressed to BATMAN along with some magic Batman towels that expand in water.
The grandsons will love them.
*Janice had someone tell her that because these was the distinct possibility that we spent the night in a room with a bat, we should have gone to the doctor and been examined for bites. This couple had a similar experience and though no bite marks were found, they were advised to get a series of rabies shots (which they did). Apparently, because their teeth are so small they can be virtually undetectable. Therefore, if you know a bat was in the same room with you at night, you should to seek medical attention. Here a link from the CDC.