You know how some folks are afraid of things like spiders, or worms, or such? Well, to me those are clearly irrational and rather amusing. NOT like if someone were, say, afraid of wasps and bees. That particular fear is clearly rational and understandable, because ANYTHING THAT NATURE MADE WITH A NEEDLE IN IT’S BUTT IS UNNATURAL AND NEEDS TO DIE!!!!!!!! DIE!!! DIE!!! Ahem. Yes. Anyhow. Beth (my long-suffering and amazing wife) has one of those amusing irrational fears, and that happens to be bats. You know, those little mousey things that fly around and eat bugs. Or rather her, um, “distaste” for bats would be amusing, but I don’t know if you ever noticed that for some reason bats tend to come out at night. So when they decide to have a friendly visit, it’s when we’re sleeping. And I hate to be awakened, except for emergencies. Like an infestation of maddened, man-killing hornets or something like that.
Since Wednesday I’ve been on day shift for the week. And on Tuesday night, we had a little visitor. At three in the morning. So I very calmly and sweetly (ok, maybe I was a tiny bit crabby and said one bad word) got up to look for the cute little rodent. Beth helped (you looked so cute all bundled up in every robe you own and three towels wrapped around your head, too), but we couldn’t find it, even after a half hour, so we went back to bed. No flying mammal issues for the rest of the night, but I couldn’t get back to sleep, resulting in a net loss of a couple hours sleep for me. Wednesday was just tough. I was tired all day, but I had lots of coffee and kept myself moving, so I got through the day. I was just looking forward to crashing that night.
Wednesday evening, Beth and I decided to close the door to the bedroom, so if the little guy was still around, the odds were that he would not get in the bedroom. We went to bed around nine o’clock that night, and looking forward to a good night’s rest, I was ecstatic. Until 10:30. When our little visitor showed up. In our closed-in bedroom. So maybe I was a tiny bit MORE crabby and said TWO bad words. Little batty-boy had gotten himself into our wastebasket and couldn’t get out. (side note: bats can’t take off from the floor. They actually have to crawl up a wall, tree, or whatever and jump. They have to swoop into flight; they can’t lift off from a “sit”) Beth had heard something, and thought it was our dog scratching or something, so she had been snapping her fingers at Gracie to get her to stop. And then Gracie “nosed” Beth’s hand and the noise continued. What Beth heard was the little rodent scrabbling, trying to get up the sides of the plastic wastebasket.
Now, I want you to understand, I LIKE bats. They eat mosquitos. And since mosquitos usually choose me to munch on, I truly like bats; they eat about their own weight in bugs every day. I mean every night. So I like them. Just not in the house. But I don’t go out of my way to kill them, so when the little guy found himself trapped in the wastebasket, I was able to trap him between a racquetball racquet that we keep in the bedroom for just such occurrences and a piece of cardboard. I took him outside and let him go, making some little joke to Beth about seeing him the next night. Bats are very smart, and I actually was a bit concerned that having found a way into the house, our bitty little guest would make his way back, but I wasn’t really that worried. What’re the chances, really? We went back to bed, but once again, I had a hard time getting back to sleep, and I figure I lost another couple hours sleep.
That was Wednesday night. For me, Thursday was REALLY difficult at work. Having lost a couple hours sleep on Tuesday, and again Wednesday, I was just whupped all day. I drank tons of coffee just to stay awake. In fact, Beth was worried it would keep me up. Not a chance. I was whiny tired, and those that know me know that I don’t even know how to whine. Ahem, again.
Anyhow, we got to bed relatively early Thursday nevening, and I slept the sleep of the dead. I remember a couple things through the night, but for the most part, I was unconscious. I actually pulled an all-nighter. And at my age, that means I didn’t get up to piddle even once! In the morning, Beth got up a few minutes before me, and went downstairs, maybe a quarter to five this morning. I laid there and dozed, figuring I had a half hour to sleep before I got up.
About five-o-five, I felt Beth throw my clothes on the bed in a lump. She doesn’t usually wake me up like that, but I figured she was being playful, so I smiled and opened my eyes. However, it was dark, and no Beth. Huh! Weird. I figured the wind did something goofy, as we have an open (and screened) window at the head of the bed. Counting on sleeping another twenty minutes or so, I forgot about it. For a couple minutes. Then I felt the wind do something behind my head. I was lying on my left side, the window was above me and kind of “in front” of me, but somehow the wind had gone past me and ruffled the covers behind my head. And then I thought of the bat from Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and thought, no! Not possible! I rolled over and looked, but nothing. Whew! Ok, false alarm. I STILL have about twenty minutes, so I laid back down. And heard something scrabbling on the nightstand behind me on my side of the bed. Son of a…!!! I do NOT believe this! I rolled over, turned on the light, and started looking. On top of the nightstand. Beside and behind the nightstand. On the front of the nightstand. In the light on top of the nightstand. Nothing. I laid back down, on my right side this time, and the light still on. I looked over the edge of the bed and toward the floor. And what do you know! Maybe four inches below me, and kind of tucked in between the mattress and the box springs was this furry little guy with a mousy little body and leathery wings. He was looking up at me and I assume he was talking to me. I can’t hear worth a crap, so I don’t know for sure.
Anyhow, it was weird. I seriously wasn’t freaked out, more cranky about a freakin’ bat three nights running. I hollered downstairs for Beth to bring up a pair of thick leather work gloves. Beth, being really smart and intuitive, didn’t even have to ask; she figured out out little visitor was back, and happily (I think) got the gloves for me. Meanwhile, I kept an eye on our tiny little guest until Beth brought the gloves up. After putting them on, I was able to reach down and grab him. He and I then took a one-way trip (for him) outside where I rather forcefully advised him to not come back into the house again. I doubt he will. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw a couple crows a bit later this morning invite him to their nest for breakfast.
Needless to say, I. Am. Tired… PLEASE no bats (or bees, or wormers, or anything) tonight! I just wanna sleep! *sigh* Another night like the last three and I might really start thinking I’m Batman.