Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Goes Around...Comes Around

I have found that writing about incidents helps me accept things that life throws at me. The following is one of many I have written in the past. Hope you enjoy it.

When we first bought our house 23 years ago, we had no idea of the experiences we were about to have. True of all new homeowners, I suppose. The house was 80 years old at the time, so you can imagine how many interesting episodes we had in store for us. Sometime in the early weeks of blissful home-ownership, we were spending a nice quiet evening watching M.A.S.H. in the Florida room. It is located right off the living room and is connected to it by French-doors. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye in the living room, but wasn’t sure. I thought I was hearing things too, so got up and stood in the doorway and really looked. Oh, yeah...I heard things all right!

Bats...two of them, swooping down crisscross through the living room. I almost jumped out of my skin. My husband (born in Greece and never one to be accused of being a hand-i-man) saw my startled face and knew he had to do something (he had no clue either!) All I could say was...bats...and pointed. Bats, and pointing. He had no inkling what a bat was. So he was frozen there but ready to do what needed to be done…whatever that was. Then I did what any red-blooded American wife would do. I shoved him into the living room and I stayed in the Florida room (where I was safe from harm) and closed the doors.

Poor man!

He flailed around with his arms; then he swatted at them with his jacket. Of course, nothing happened. They just kept crisscrossing. I think one of them was laughing at us, but I can’t be sure. So realizing that this needed a united front, I grudgingly came out of the safety of my self-imposed prison and tried to help. It was clear we needed a plan, but what?

Let’s see if we can shoo them outside. With the door open, we both tried waving them towards the open air of freedom. No luck. It was getting late and I was getting scared. We managed to close one off in the vestibule area at the front door. It is a small section that is large enough for the door to open and can be closed off from the living room by a second door. Good. One down, one to go. He managed to throw his coat over the second one and it was on the landing of the stairway, safely covered with his jacket. The enemy was sequestered and we felt safe enough to go to bed. We stuffed towels around the opening under the bedroom door…just in case.

First thing in the morning, we called the city humane society and they came, much quicker than I expected. That aroused a new level of fear in me. The humane officer found one, (rooms away from where we left it) and disposed of it. The other was never found, he said it probably got out through the mail slot or chimney or some such thing. He did elaborate about not scaring them to the point of attack because they carry rabies and one should be very careful around them. We took his advice seriously and realizing that the danger was gone, life began to return to normal. After that, it only took three weeks or so to feel comfortable going to bed again. So another episode in home ownership came to a close.

Now, I am one. I still have home ownership events, but they take on new dimensions because I must face them alone.

Last night, my first Valentines Day as an “involuntarily widowed person” I was sitting in the same room (it is now my office) surfing the internet, and I heard something around the venetian blinds in the living room, right after the automatic timer clicked off.

Yup, you got it, bat. Except now, I am on my own.

I tried to shoo it out the front door, but it just circled and then landed behind the TV.
I secured my bird, (in the office) closed the doors so he was safe and then did the same for me when I went to bed.

When morning came, I knew the thing could be ANYWHERE, maybe even gone.
It was a three-day weekend and I figured the thing could die before I get the City to find it or do anything. I decided that I would have faith for a peaceful and humane solution to this problem. I remembered that the last one was killed to prevent the possibility of rabies. That saddened me a great deal; the poor thing was just doing what bats do, living. No need to kill it, just get it back to its own environment. That was my prayer and hope. I had no idea how that would happen.

The day was spent cooking with a friend. A few more guests came to share the dinner. This was indeed a great test of my hope to peacefully solve this problem. No sign of the bat. I knew it was here, I just didn’t know where. As the day wore on, and night came I feared it would fly out from some nook or cranny and scare us all half to death. It didn’t happen.

Instead we all decided to go to an Improv Show. This is a great way to empty the house and put one’s fears to rest for a while. I left all the lights on as a deterrent and left. When I got back at eleven I knew I would probably do battle again and entered very cautiously. I stood in the vestibule and looked cautiously into the living room to see if I could spot the little guy.

Yes. He was there, hanging on the window panel of the French door into my office. I am sure he saw me, but it had no effect on him. I could feel the blood pumping in my chest but knew I had to find a solution to this problem. I looked around and found a fluffy Polartec vest hanging on the coat rack nearby. After two folds and one deep breath I felt ready to try to grab the bat carefully but firmly so I could let it outside.

In one precise motion, kind of like grabbing an egg, I captured the bat and had it outside and flying to freedom. A feeling of great accomplishment swept over me and I was elated for about three seconds, before I started to shake in fear from what I had just done. I realized it could have gone very differently, but somehow I felt I too had experienced what my husband did when he was trying to understand what a bat was; then living with the fear of it for a day and this very happy ending. It was a kind of miracle ending, since the living room was fully lighted, I expected the bat to stay in the darker crannies where it would be safe, but it was right there in the open waiting for me.

It was as if all the living energies were in complete agreement for the solution and the spirit of my husband was there too, laughing and guiding at the same time. Fly baby, Happy Valentines Day.

Ellen Rossopoulos, February 14, 2003

1 comment:

Goldenrod said...

That's just hysterical! I now have one more thing to add to a post on "Memories of my mother" ... guess it'll be #3. Don't know for sure. Will have to look it up. I find it simply amAZing that you feel such empathy for these hideous creatures. Sure, they have a 'right' to exist, but NOT IN MY HOUSE!