Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Batman


So, Sunday night I hear Anya running back and forth in the upstairs hallway. Rather atypical behavior on her part unless, of course, she's chasing something. But the back and forth aspect confused me, if she were chasing a mouse, the mouse would go to ground as quickly as it could, not run up and down the hallway. That's a pretty good way for a mouse to commit suicide-by-cat.

So I head aloft to see what all the fuss is about. When I get upstairs Anya is sitting there looking at me as if to say, "What took you so long?" As I'm looking at her I see movement in my peripheral vision, not on the floor mind you, but in the air. About chest height.

Hhmm, a bird in the house? How the heck did that happen? Then I see the UFO in the air in planform, 'tis not a bird but a mammal.

Yup, classic bat shape. It's also worth noting that the little buggers are like mice in their ability to squeeze through very small openings. So unless The Missus Herself had had the door open (which happens, the storm door is in need of replacement and doesn't close properly, unless one grips it and forces it closed), I figure the little fellow got confused and chased supper into the house. Probably through some wee opening which I couldn't find.

But now I have a bat in the house, a rather panicked bat as he/she had been chased by a cat. Anya the cat, to be precise.

Now Anya was never much of a hunter, that was Sasha's strong suit, but since Sasha's passing Anya has taken an interest in hunting. We saw mouse sign in the house in mid-July, Anya was paying close attention to  the nooks and crannies favored by rodents. Since my return from Sandy Eggo in August, haven't seen any rodent-sign in the domicile. I'm guessing Anya's attentions to that problem have driven the mice back outside.

Anyhoo, Anya wanted to catch the bat, as she can't fly that notion was problematic to say the least. The Missus Herself opened the window and the screen in the room where the flying mammal had last been spotted. Thirty minutes passed with no further bat sightings, until I heard a yell from downstairs.

The bat had flown down there. (Must have been a young, inexperienced bat, his/her sonar obviously hadn't spotted the open window.)

I went to the shed and got the net (which we use in the koi pond, no Virgil, not so we can eat them). By the time I returned The Missus Herself had opened more windows. Also, the bat was no longer downstairs.

So back upstairs I went and sat myself down to continue watching 1864 (it's pretty good IMHO). Moments later I felt the flutter of leathery wings pass close aboard. Freaking bat was in the man cave!

So Anya and I turned to and resumed the hunt with net and flashlight. (Truth be told, Anya was now more interested in the flashlight than the bat, yes, I did indulge her with that.) After some long moments of stalking, interspersed with Anya chasing the flashlight beam, I realized that the bat was nowhere to be found.

I rattled curtains, shone my light into nooks and crannies above ground level. Nada, nichts, nothing. So I went around closing windows, though it was chilly last night, the little bugs were being attracted to the lights in the house. Reasoning that those same little bugs probably attracted the bat's attention as well, I presumed the bat had returned to its natural habitat.

The night wore on, no leathery wings fluttered, no small flying things hovered in the peripheral vision, I assumed that the bat adventure was over. Awakened in the morning, no bat reports from The Missus Herself and Anya had not seen anything during the night worth chasing (or mentioning). So adventure over, no bats in the house.

So I guess...



Anya is, of course, the Batcat. My trusted sidekick. She was never into ground warfare, she's apparently a devotee of anti-air warfare.

Sorry Juvat...

Update!

Seems that the bat did not make his/her get-away on Monday night but spent the entire night and all of Tuesday in the house, catching 40 winks somewhere. When The Missus Herself came home in the evening, the bat decided to awaken and flutter around the downstairs. Doors and windows were flung open and the bat made a dash for freedom. Unfortunately the storm door at the front of the house hadn't been opened yet and he/she flew into the screen.

Stunned, the wee bat lay there for a moment. As I dashed to open the screen door and help him/her outside, the little bugger came to life and began fluttering about once more, sans clue, sans exit strategy. (Kinda like certain generals I know.)

But now the front storm door being open, the bat made his/her escape. We think.

We shall see...



48 comments:

  1. The music from a certain sixties TV show is now playing in my head.

    A slight tweak of the lyrics will work just fine for your situation.

    Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da Batcat!

    I think that a quadrotor of the right size could lift the cat, but the reponsive feedback controls that would allow the cat to instinctively fly might need the input of Boston Dynamics.
    I have the image of Anya wearing a flightsuit and helmet, and she is suspended beneath the quadrotor, as she is flying through your house in pursuit of the bat.
    The music will be the reworked TV theme, and juvat would have to provide the correct jet fighter terminology.

    If this happened aboard a ship, then of course it would mean going to, wait, Bat-tle stations and warming up the, Cat-a-pult.

    Thank you for providing a much needed smile.

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    1. (Don McCollor)...Somewhere I have a picture of a serious looking cat photoshopped into a WW2 Brit leather pilot's helmet captioned "Mike Echo Oscar Whiskey, How do you read? Over"...

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    2. I've seen that, rather droll innit?

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  2. Twice I have been in a room where a bat "mysteriously" made it in - once in Iai class, once in The Cabin on vacation. In both cases a great deal of time and effort (and waving of hands) was expended in trying to move the bat (who kept flying in a large circle) towards the opening and get them out. Eventually in both cases, we managed to do so.

    On the bright side, I do enjoy watching them eat away at the mosquitos in the early evening and early morning hours. There is something about their seemingly erratic flight patterns that is quite engaging.

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    1. When I was a kid my brothers and I would watch the bats come out and start hunting around twilight. We'd throw small pebbles up in the air and watch as the bats quickly homed in on them. They might have been somewhat irked to discover that the pebbles weren't insects!

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    2. We slung various objects aloft — they seemed to vector in but were able to quite quickly discern that the sonar returns were of non-buggy origin.

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    3. That was my experience as well.

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    4. (Don McCollor)...I used to drive out to sit on still quiet evenings on the old family farm as sunset turned to darkness. At deep dusk, half-seen bats started circling round the yard inside the grove. As it grew darker, they started to make close strafing passes at my head. Realized that they hunt mosquitoes, and I (doused with Off) was probably attracting the most mosquitoes around...

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    5. Yup, the little buggers are Hell on mosquitoes!

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  3. Bats aren't pretty cool little mammals- we'd be much worse off vis a vis mosquitoes and other like aerial pests without them. We have a fair number of them around our house in NC - pretty cool to watch their air to air hunting antics. I remember going to Carlsbad Caverns as a kid and seeing the nightly exodus, and also the same from the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin. Never tried to get them "stoned" like you did, Sarge, but was fascinated by their air to air maneuvers.
    And now I have an ear worm thanks to John in Philly!

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  4. Twice in my youth I recall bats roosting in our attic.

    Removal the first time involved open windows, and the near-rearrangement of my dad’s face by the bedroom door as the leathery interloper sought egress — mom was a little panicky, shall we say.

    The second time involved... the shop vac, at high noon. *voomp* and the sleepy little bugger was ensconced in a dark cave with a gentle bedding of sawdust... somewhat comatose, but alert enough to grab a stick, that we hung on the clotheslines... flapped away, seemingly unharmed, at dusk.

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    1. The guano can be a problem if they're roosting in the attic.

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    2. Give it a couple years and you can make your own potassium nitrate and other good chemicals!

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    3. If the ceiling doesn't collapse first...

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    4. “It’s not a ‘bat problem’ ... I’m prepping!”

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  5. I was working Job#2 as a security guard at a local theatre when a bat made an appearance in the lobby. There was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the band doing a meet and greet with their fans. By the time I got there the bat had landed behind the lobby door and I snatched him up on the first try.

    As I was walking young MR/MS bat out the door, some young girl asked me if I was going to kill it. Like Tom I said no they eat lots of bugs and I was going to release it outside where it would be safe. The crowd cheered and the band gave me a t-shirt.

    The next year the band came back to town for another gig and asked the venue manager to make sure Batman was working the door. I still laugh about that.

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    1. Nice! (Which band was it? Inquiring minds...)

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    2. Some regional gospel group, The Childress Family. It would have been a better story if it was Black Sabbath with bat eating Ozzy but alas it was not.

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  6. No worries, If I recall correctly (which is no longer guaranteed), a large chunk of my flying time revolved around anti-air.

    On a separate note, another touristy thing around here is the Bat Cave (Officially the old Railroad Tunnel) which provides shelter to Migratory Mexican Free-tail bats by the millions. Around sunset this time of year, they all emerge and start consuming mosquitos. So popular with the turista's that reservations are required.

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  7. When I wrangling horses up in Comfort for a summer camp, my high school bud came down to visit. We drove over to that railroad tunnel a 0 dark thirty in the am. He was keen to see it. If you can imagine a cloud layer of bats, being poured out of a pitcher into the tunnel entrance, that is what we saw in the sky at dawn. That was THE most amazing bat scene I've ever.... seen. Blew away the view of the bats leaving at night. We hiked down there and looked into the tunnel. It was a fuzzy mass that almost covered up the light at the other end. There was a steady ooze of liquid guano streaming out as well. Stayed back from the entrance. That was way back when it was private property and we trespassed to see it. Now it's a THING.... Well, not like the thing in Texas Canyon, AZ, but, well, anyway.... (Yes, I did see the THING! Had to. I'd been reading the signs for days on that trip)

    Down here, it's safe to assume they are rabid. Everyone I've had tested has been. Nooo touchy!!!!

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  8. Finding a bat in the house always left me with an uncomfortable feeling.

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  9. An open window might allow the bat to escape, but also lets in a bunch of mosquitoes for said bat to eat right?

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    1. The weather has turned colder, the mossies are dying off.

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  10. Anti-Aviator-Anya = ;)

    Why do you not have flyscreens on the windows? Because Anya climbs?

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    1. We do, we had those opened as well.

      Triple-A, nice!

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  11. We have The Bat House on the local university campus. A noted tourist spot, people go and park near by to watch the bats come out at night. Of course, since it's right next to a swampy lake, there are lots of mosquitos to bite said people, and if warm, quite a few gators, too. No, OAFS, the bats don't bother the gators. Silly northerner...

    And near by (in rural Florida terms) we have the Luby Bat Conservancy, where all sorts of research and rehabilitation and breeding is done. And it's major funding is by Bacardi (the ex-Cuban bat rum people.) Friend of ours worked there. Delicate little thing, ex-Menonite, not used to the world really. Her job? Electro-ejaculating male flying rodents. So, of course, we all called her the Bat-Fluffer. And made little 'zzzzt' noises when she was being weird or annoyingly 'blond' to the modern world. She mostly got over it. Mostly.

    Never had a bat in the house or noticeably around the house. Though I see them swooping and catching bugs near the streetlights all the time. One of those good things to have around during regular mosquito seasons. And like the big old Florida spiders that put out webs strong enough to clothesline a guy riding a riding lawnmower, the bats (and spiders) are good for the environment. As long as both bats and spiders are kept at a reasonable distance. For some reason, ten feet sounds good.

    Went to Raccoon Caves in Chattanooga, TN, one year on the way to Kentucky on a trip to pick up basket willows for Mrs. Andrew. The caves were small but nice, and there was a bat hibernating. Apparently their metabolism is so delicate that if you wake one during the hibernation cycle, it may not have enough food to last until such time as it's warm enough outside for bugs to be numerous enough for it to sustain itself. Delicate weird little creatures. Again, keep them 10 feet away and I'm happy.

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  12. Right after I got out of the Navy I moved into a trailer park in Jacksonville, FL. I'd been there a few days when I heard a woman screaming. I went to a nearby trailer and found that a bat had gotten in. I went in took a towel and tossed it over the bat and took it outside. After releasing it, I met my new neighbor Rebecca. I owe that bat a favor.

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  13. Back about 30 years ago, my son, who was about 8 at the time, and I and Twinkle, a lovely calico kitty were living in the 2nd floor flat. The house was owned by a lady who had MS, and with some pointed encouragement from me, she finally hired a property manager as her ex-husband jut wasn't getting the honey-do list done. So bright and early one morning there is a knock on my front door, and it was the new property manger dude asking if he could get into the attic as he needed to fix the porch roof of the folks who lived downstairs.
    Sure, not a problem.
    (So, you had to come up the stairs to a large landing kinda space with a coat closet (no door), a door out onto my front porch, and a door into the apartment proper. The other side of the door was my living room which led back in the building into the dining room with my bedroom off it, and back into the kitchen where my son's bedroom was off of.) So I shut my front door into the apartment to keep my kitty inside, and told him not to let the cat out please if he had to come into the apartment. We went off to work/school. Had a great day.
    Came home, ate supper, opened the door to the front porch which had screens, and the windows in the bedrooms to help dispel some warmth as it had been 80's, and then the cat goes nuts running around like crazy...WTH?????

    My son spotted it first as it swooped around his head---sitting under the light over the table---and his Mom the nurse immediately thought Crap!! Rabies!!!! And grabbed a tennis racket. I sent him to his room and to shut the door!! And shut the door to my room as well as I saw it fly back into the front hall. Grabbed the cat, checking the windows in the porch--yup, screens in place--went upstairs into the attic where the screened in window no longer was...It had been removed and NOT replaced.

    To say I was steamed would be an understatement. I turned on the attic light for a bit, turned off the front hall light, shut that door and stuffed about 3 big beach towels under the door so nothing could come crawling under...and called the number on the business card I had been so helpfully given that morning. I was pretty terse when I explained my displeasure to the answering machine of having bats in my attic because of someone else's craziness and memory lapse in replacing the screen which were designed to keep the bugs and the bats OUTDOORS where they belonged. We had just dealt in the past 5 months with a pneumonia in my severely asthmatic son which had him out of school for 6 weeks due to carelessness on the part of furnace maintenance, and I had been sidelined with a brain tumor which had been removed and was just getting back on my feet, really didn't want to add a go-around of rabies to the wacky medical history, thankyouverymuch getoverhere PDQ and get the darn bat OUTSIDE and put the screen BACK IN!!!

    At 7:30AM my doorbell rang again, and the property manager dude was back, VERY apologetic, looked all over, didn't find the bat, but put that screen in promptly with me standing right there watching.

    It must have been a good month before I would open the door to the attic to let the heat rise out of the apartment.
    Like Beans, 10 feet+ sounds like a good distance in my opinion.

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  14. Back in the 1980's, I had a small orange and white tom, named Tyrone. Tyrone was a cat with amazing leaping skills, and the ability to lead a target. Tyrone, when a bat got in the house would wait until the bat swooped low enough, and Tyrone would leap, and come down, with w bat in his mouth. Good thing we kept his rabies shots up to date!

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    1. Tyrone could jump from the floor, to the top of the fridge! If I had not seen him do it, I would never have believed it possible.

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    2. I've seen cats with that sort of vertical leaping ability, amazing.

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  15. Among the MANY reasons to oppose Bidens insane plan rid us of fossil fuels and convert to total "Green Energy" would be BATS! Those giant windmills kill bats by the tens of thousands and the bat reproduction cycle is extraordinairly long. As bats eat mosquitos by the tens of millions so much for mosquito control. So if Biden has his way get used to lathering yourselves w. lots of mosquito repellent sports-fans..

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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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