Friday, 15 January 2010

batty after all

overcast, dull gray, mild temps freezing

I'm not sure what's worse...brilliant blue skies but minus 25, or dull, dreary skies and mild temperatures? What I do know for sure is we don't have a choice. Actually, the truth is, I'm not overly affected by the weather. I don't much care. For the most part I like it all...but I also realize I'm very lucky. Michael and I don't have to function in it, and that makes a huge difference.

Had breakfast with Cheryl and Gary, at Chez Camil in Sutton. They're just back from a week at an all-inclusive in Cuba. Sounds like they had a fun time, rained and was cloudy most of the time. One day it was even cold! No surprise, I suppose, to those of you in Florida. But not much fun when this is your one big week on vacation. Gary says he checked the weather for this week and its sunny and hot! Best not to know. But I'll sometimes do that. Buy something, then compare prices at other stores, just to torture myself. passes the time.

When we got back from Montreal yesterday I laid a fire in the grate, lit it and a log rolled off to the side, so I reached for the leather gauntlets on the hearth. We use them all the time to move burning logs around in the grate. I put the gloves on, but noticed something brown, like a small glove, still lying on the hearth. I leaned close. Then quickly leaned away.

It was a bat.

Stunned...sleepy...but apparently waking up. It had fallen asleep under the big leather gloves. Thank God it hadn't fallen asleep inside the big leather gloves! I stared at it for a stunned moment, then scooped the poor thing up in the gloves, creating a small pocket between my hands for it to breath. I could feel it stirring inside. Not exactly the wake-up it was expecting, I suppose. But then, it wasn't what I was expecting either.

So there I stood in the middle of the living room wearing two massive gauntlets and holding a bat.

Michael walked into the room. Stopped. And stared.

'It's a bat,' I said.

This didn't seem to enlighten him.

'In my hands. I found him under the gloves.'

Then he understood. Now the two of us stood in the middle of the living room. One with a bat, the other without.

'We have to do something,' I finally said, walking toward the kitchen. 'Should I put him outside?'

Michael, while now in motion, still said nothing. I had, it seems, mistaken him for a bat expert.

'I'll open the door,' he finally offered. And that was helpful since without him I would still be holding the poor bat. He opened the back door and I was about to let the bat go when I realized it wouldn't last long outside. He should be hibernating now.

So we put on our boots and took the bat to our shed. It was now quite active in the palm of my hands. Michael opened the shed door a sliver and I tossed the bat in. It disappeared into the darkness as Michael slammed the door closed.

We then called Pat and Tony, then the vet, then I contacted a friend who is a biologist with a local zoo. Thankfully they all thought the shed was a great idea.

However, they aren't the ones who now have to go in there. With luck he'll hibernate again and wake up in the spring...and then...

but how'd he come to be sleeping beside the fireplace? We figure he came in on one of the logs this autumn, and woke up with the warmth when his 'home' as brought up from the basement.

This made me quite alert today when I went down to get more wood. Do we now have a bat cave downstairs?

Bats in the shed. Bats in the wood. Bats in the basement. Suspicions confirmed!

We're still, with Danny and Lucy, pursuing the possibility of a radiothon to raise money for Haiti. My God, it's almost unbearable to watch...and yet it seems too facile to look away.


Dana said...

Dear Louise, Thank you for the border guard and bat tales. They lighten what has been a very disturbing week.
We have many hilarious bat stories with one common theme: I can imagine how they get inside, but where do they go if we don't catch them? I spent one summer sneaking up on innocent painting and draperies - nothing there!
The good news is they will eat all those awful black flies.

Marjorie said...


As long as the bats are not in your belfry!

Bats are wonderful creatures. They eat millions of mosquitos and are good for the environment. Unless you have captured Dracula or Bruce Wayne, you have done a good thing in trying to save the bat.

I once had a friend get a bat in his Boston apartment. He, being a city-boy was terrified. When we got there he was standing with a tennis raquet in hand ready to do battle. Luckily, we got the bat safely out without having to use our serve or backhand.

I have been to Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico) where millions of bats live and fly out at dusk every night to find their dinner. It's an awesome sight.

--Marjorie from Conneticut

Nikki B said...

LOL Louise! Once when I was living in an upstairs apartment I got home and saw something fly across the living room--a bird I, a bat. I called a friend (why, what could they do?? Tell me to call my landlord who lived downstairs!) They come up, we turn out the lights and sit on the couch, because the bat will chirp. Or not. They leave, I go into the master bathroom...and in the mirror I see the bat, flying between the bedroom and living room....I'm trapped.
I finally got a sweatshirt, baseball cap and boots on (just in case)...and after several tried of leaping into the air, I caught the bat in my softball glove :-). If only someone could have been there to video tape, for sure I would have won the $10,000!
The bat was released out the front door...Whew!

lil Gluckstern said...

I don't think you guys are ever bored! Life is an adventure when you have a sense of humor, right? No bat tales, just birds that my cats have brought in which I was able able to release unharmed. I was appalled, but they're just being cats. I agree with Dana, funny stories help in a hard week. said...
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Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

I just deleted two comments - they weren't rude at all, but seemed to be spam, which seems odd. Oh well.

Love your bat stories! Hilarious. And I have to admit, a live bat flying around is a whole order of business different than some poor, groggy thing.

Our friend Susan did a magnificent, and very troubling, documentry last year about the bat caves in Vermont and a disease that is ravaging the bat population. Terrible. So when we see a bat we know it is precious.

Just don't want it in my bed.