Batshit Crazy!

Brown and Black Bat—Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

It is never good when you are awakened at four in the morning. Both Anne and I were asleep when Dan woke us up. He had been asleep also and had only woken a little bit earlier. What woke him was a bat flying around in his upstairs bedroom. At this time of year, any self-respecting bat should be hibernating, but not this one, at least not last night. What woke Dan was not so much the bat’s flapping wings, but its landing on stuff, in various parts of his room. 

His first instinct was to pull the covers up over his head, but then once the bat flew into the other upstairs bedroom, he ducked downstairs, where he found an old copier paper box to catch it in. First though he layered up in order to better do battle with the beast. Returning upstairs, after some trial and error, he batted down the bat with the box and then caught said bat in the box. Then he woke us.

In the morning, Dan was sleeping on the couch and the bat still in the box was sitting on the dining room table. He had already done some “internet research” on bats. In North America, they are the primary source of rabies, but less than 1/10 of 1 percent of wild bats have rabies. Worldwide this dubious honor falls to dogs, but vaccines prevent that here. He texted a friend of his who is a vet. He was alarmed by her concern and what she had to tell him. Sleeping in a room with a rabid bat is dangerous. Who knew? A bat can scratch or bite someone, while they are asleep, without waking them.

Later, he called the state’s health department in Jeff City. The woman who he spoke with also seemed concerned, which was doubly alarming. Then he called the county’s animal control department. They asked him to bring the bat to them. They are going to decapitate the bat and send its head off to Jeff City for testing. I do not think that they will perform this operation Ozzy Osbourne style though. We ought to get the test results back next week. Hopefully, the bat was not rabid, because then Dan will have to take the four-round course of inoculation shots. They are said to be highly effective. They are supposedly not as bad as they used to be, but still are no walk in the park. Neither the state nor the county suggested beginning them until the test is done.

So, how did the bat get into the house? The short answer is I do not know, but my best guess is that until the week before Dan arrived there was an AC unit still in that bedroom’s window. The unit has louvers to close the gaps on either side of the unit, but their seal was not the best. I suspect that before the weather turned cold, the bat slipped into the house through one of the cracks around the AC unit, probably while we were back east. Hopefully, it is the only one. 

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