Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not Invited, but Not Overstayed

This is actually an non-event, because really it only took ten minutes and had no lasting effect (that I know of). Although, to read the NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - Rabies Policies and Procedures, you would think our lives are in great peril, or at the very least our health.

Last night, I was watching the Sci-Fi Violent Movie of the Week when I heard a little fussing about in the chimney. First of all, I was under the impression that the flue has been better than closed for a good 30 years. It has had a plywood cover up against it all those years along with the iron damper being totally shut. Last year a creature got in to the chimney and fussed like that for a couple days, but nothing came of it.

This time, it was different.

The fussing went on for a few minutes.
Last year I had knocked up against the plywood cover with the poker to warn off whatever was in there and it worked. I thought I might be doing that again, but just sat listening.

It was different somehow. The last captive had been a bird, with a lot of scraping around and flapping noises. This time is was subtle and less frantic. Like whatever it was had a plan. Little did I know, the plan was to GET IN THE HOUSE!

Sure enough, after some concerted effort the creature dropped into the fireplace and fussed around some more against the chain mail curtain that encloses it. A moment later, a black shape flew up across my view and started circling the living room at about six feet in absolute silence.

It was a bat, of all things. A rather largish bat actually. It seemed to have an eight inch wingspan and was black except for some lighter colors around the feet and face.

It flitted around the living room, bobbing and swooping in a great oval, just missing the lamps, just touching the ceiling.

I got up & quickly scrambled for the door in a crouched position so it wouldn't nest in my hair.
They do that. Nest in your hair.
But I stayed low & quickly had the door wide open and hoped that would be inviting somehow. I stood in the end of the hall to block the bat so it would swoop on by and go right out.

Well, the bat wanted to see the house, so it flew over my head, missing me by an inch or two surely. It went ahead into the bedroom and did a couple loops, got bored and left again. I closed the bedroom door and the bathroom & other bedroom and watched as the bat went back to the big oval circuit of the living room.

It repeatedly came into the hall and passed right across the open door to the great outdoors as if it wasn't interested. I turned on the light, hoping to get it to see the big black rectangle of the open door against the lit grey walls of the hallway, but it didn't seem to respond to my careful choice of illumination. It wanted to see the kitchen, which was but a brief segue on the soon to be greater tour.

I scrambled around and found a cardboard sheet about two feet square and tried to direct the animal and indeed it changed course a few times by running directly into the thing with a light thump.

Around and around it flew, without a sound.
A bird would have been ham-winging it and flapping wildly against the curtains, but the bat seemed almost acrobatic in flight and with so little room to breathe its little mind must have been racing.

The great wooden front door, covers the opening to the stairs up to the attic when it's open. The stairwell was dark and just the smallest opening the bat had available to it, but that is where it flew now. Up the stairs to a landing with a right or left ninety degree turn into either the green room or the blue room. The blue room has a large sliding glass window, which to the eye might have seemed an exit, but to sonar, a solid wall. It was in & out in just a few seconds.

In the tight space of the landing, with a full sided railing, desk set and steeply sloped ceiling, I thought I'd soon be pulling the frantic and exhausted bat from my face, but it dove and reeled up and over a chair and down the stairs again.
Soon it was back to touring the living room.

I tried turning off interior lights and turning on the porch light, in an effort to make the landscape the inverse of what it had been. I had no idea whether changes in light would matter to it, but I also continued to try maneuvering it toward the door with the cardboard. That, at least, would be on its radar.

Many more circuits were made and more than once the poor creature tried to alight on a curtain as far from me as possible. It was getting tired.
Maybe it would come to rest or maybe it would go on flying around until it collapsed. Then I'd have to rush around looking for a way to get it off the curtain or out from under a couch, better still.

In any case, all this came to nothing, as I said, because on one more round of the living room it ventured into the hall & chose inexplicably, the front door. I watched it shoot off into the darkness & went back to the show I was watching.
Nothing to it...

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Ho ho. Bats are the shit.