JB and I are big fans of This American Life. We’ve listened to almost all of its shows, including a segment titled “The Hills Have Eyes.” It is a true story about a woman who was attacked by a rabid raccoon and her near-disaster experience with trying to get a rabies vaccine (which costs thousands of dollars, by the way). At one part of the show (14:35 minutes in), the interviewer took an aside with the audience and said that rabies is REAL and DANGEROUS and if you ever find a bat in a room where someone was sleeping, you need to have that bat and/or person checked for rabies, as they may not have known that they were bitten.
That, coupled with Michael Scott's Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run for the Cure, has made me very serious about rabies.
So when I learned that the squeaking I heard in my bedroom in the cabin was a bat and not a mouse, I was a little unnerved.
But just a little, as it was apparently in the walls, and not actually in my room.
We heard them for two nights, scratching and squeaking in the walls, and in what sounded like the heat ducts, right by my side of the bed. Marian said she’s heard them in the cabin for years.
The next day, as Mark fetched something from the cubby hole/attic space right next to Olivia’s bed, he discovered a dead bat and showed it to us.
Aha! Mischief managed, I thought. I didn’t know that bats live in droves.
A few hours later I take Olivia to our room to nurse her and take a nap. I grabbed the blanket out of her bed (it was chilly the whole time we were up there!) and threw it on my bed and sat down next to it. As soon as I got situated with her, I reached out to grab the blanket to pull it over us. Then I noticed that my hand wasn’t about to grab the off-white blanket, but something black and sinister instead.
A bat! In the blanket, 7 inches from Olivia’s head!
Then it started squeaking.
I actually wasn’t as frightened as I would have been if it was a mouse or, God forbid, a snake. I probably would have cried if it had been one of those. The bat didn’t disturb me, but the idea of rabies did.
So I summoned Mark and JB for help, and they removed the bat, which was fortunately stuck in the blanket, and not able to fly around and get stuck in my hair. Or bite Olivia.
That night Marian and Austin counted 38 bats flying out of the roof, on a hunting expedition. Mark speculated that there were probably 100 in there in total.
Grandma and Grandpa found one flying around in their bedroom the next morning. They opened a window and it flew out. Grandma commented that she didn’t know what all the fuss was about over these bats. I should have pointed out my rabies concern to her, but I did not. I was trying to be brave, I guess.
Mark and Marian found a guy who took care of the problem. This man rigged a sort of tube and flap in the hole that the bats flew in and out of. They could fly out at night to hunt, but upon return, could not go back in past the flap.
The in-laws said they counted over 100 bats leaving the joint.
Good riddance, you blind creatures of the night! Christian Bale may make bats seem sexy, but I know better. You can’t fool me, and you can’t come back into the family cabin and give us rabies!