Dora, the “Bat Cat”

The little black and white cat was doing her tightrope act again, prowling back and forth on the banister high above the great room.  But this time was different.  Instead of nibbling on the hanging plant and doing her pirhouettes like she normally does, she instead was fixated on the beams over her head.  Intently staring at the ceiling, she kept making these chirping sounds.  She would not be deterred from her watch.

“The last time she acted like this was when we had a bat in the house,” Bryon commented.  “But I don’t see anything.”

The words were no sooner out of his mouth, as if they were hanging over his head in a balloon, words spoken in a comic strip, and something flew over my head.  Instinctively, I shrieked, as the dark animal came whizzing over my head.  The little brown bat was back.  This despite the very lovely bat house we built for the bats that has been sitting empty for over two years now.

I say back, because this is not a first foray with bats in our Nederland home.  We found one roosting on the beam above our bed one night when we were going to bed.  We were able to capture that one with a can and a piece of cardboard and release it outside.  The second time was also in our bedroom, for which we opened all the windows, removed the screens and eventually it left of its own accord.

Despite the late hour of 10 p.m., neither one of us felt comfortable just going to bed while Mr. Bat hung out in our living room.  This time the bat was far too high above for us to capture, so we resorted to opening the doors and windows and tossing things at it to move it from its perch.  We threw socks which then ended up hanging from the lampshade or on the ledges of our enormous plate glass windows that make up the western side of our house.  Then were threw crumpled up wads of newspaper.  No luck.

Finally, Bryon got and extender pole he uses to wash the tall windows and started poking it.  Off it went, zooming around the nether regions of the room.  My reaction — a shriek and then lying prone on the floor, so as not to get a bat extricated in my hair.

Finally, it roosted one more time in the loft — we opened the window as wide as possible.  Bryon handed me the screen and instructed me to use the screen to “guide” the bat out the window.  Was it supposed to be like a shield?  I was confused.  He poked it, I put the screen up in front of my face, then stumbled into the guitar which sounded out a discordant strum.

We think the bat is gone.  After using a flashlight to search every nook and cranny of the ceiling and loft, our final test is to bring back the “bat cat”, aka Dora.  We release her into the great room, she peers at the ceiling for several minutes, but no chirping.  She proceeds to lose interest (this is a good thing!) and goes back into the bedroom.  All is well, we are bat free for the night!