Many years ago I was woken up in the middle of the night by a noise I could only just hear. Looked around, worked out that it was coming from the next room. Looked in. There is my cat, who has discovered a bat.
She’s there. Looking at this thing that looks more or less like a mouse, and very slowly and carefully walks up to it, sniffs it, pats it. There is an astounding high pitched squeak and she leaps back about three feet. And very slowly and carefully starts walking up to it again. And repeat.
I got the cat out and tried to work out what to do with the bat. It had all four feet grabbing on to the carpet, so trying to lift it to the widow wasn’t an option - I could easily have shattered the wing bones. Sealed the room, opened all the windows, checked again in the morning, it was gone.
I know sooner or later someone is going to warn you about certain death from rabies, so. . . .
At least yours was clinging to the carpet. I’ve had one in my house every year for the last four. Mine are always flying, which can be quite nerve racking since they swoop at just about everything. The first 3 I managed to get out via the front door and more or less funneling them toward it. The last one couldn’t figure out how to get down the stairs (they all enter upstairs, and yes I have some vague idea how), and finally decided to “land” on a wall. After somewhat of an ordeal I was able to capture it in a box and release it outside. I will say I was surprised at how docile it was going into and being in the box. Of course I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, long pants, welding gloves, and a full face respirator - and a heart rate and blood pressure north of 150.
This post better not be a sign it is time for the yearly visit.
Just the other day, I spotted a bat perched on an apartment building in plain sight, during the middle of the day. I left it alone, but now I wonder if it was the same bat. You don’t live in the Shadyside area, do you, Rob? We might be neighbors.
That is a good call on the leather gloves. Bats are cute, but they do carry rabies: two confirmed cases here in the Seattle area this summer.
I had one suddenly appear in my living room on two separate occasions in the middle of the night when I was at my computer. Just barely noticed motion out of the corner of my eye and when I realized what they were had to scramble for cover in the kitchen. After regrouping and planning I managed to catch them in a laundry tub covered by a bit of cardboard and then released them out on the porch.
Hopefully, Enzo will have a better experience than Winston Cunningham IV (the bat my cats took down in our house back in 2009 – http://boingboing.net/2009/12/28/the-mysteries-of-rab.html). That story ended with me finding a dead Mr. Cunningham behind our couch. We took his body in to be tested at the vet’s office. My husband talked me into taking the body in tupperware up to the nurse and asking, “Can … can you save him?”
It is remarkable that they can recover from wing tears. We did a similar thing with a bat when I was a kid (shoebox, t-shirt, water – even fed it a bit with a baby bottle). I think it actually had pneumonia or something similar and died eventually. This was in the UK, though, so we weren’t worried about rabies. Which still baffles me, in the case of bats: do none migrate to/from the UK?
My technique for dealing with a few bats who decided my house was a good place involved ducking while waving a fly swatter over my head and opening the front door. Apparently this is the right technique because it worked every time.
There are occasionally rabies-carrying bats found in very southern English counties, but in general I think the channel is too wide for them to cross.
He mentioned that he specifically wore gloves because of rabies concerns. And, well, isn’t it generally good policy to wear protective gloves when dealing with ANY wild animals? Whether or not they’re likely to be rabies carriers? (And just because bats are LESS likely to be carriers, doesn’t mean that they DEFINITELY WILL NOT BE - see the comment in this very thread about 2 confirmed cases in Seattle this summer)
Cats are shit pets.
There, I said it.
Well, there are problems, particularly toxoplasma gondii, but they certainly make better pets than dogs.
Now we’re both in for it!
I experienced a similar night time awakening. The squeaking was so terrified sounding and at first I was completely confused. Turned on the light and the cats were watching this poor little bat on the floor try to fly away, and occasionally patting at it. I’m sure it was the most awesome thing they had ever found in our bedroom (the bat had flown in an open window).
It had a tear in its wing, and I wasn’t really sure what you were supposed to do about that, so we wrapped it lightly in a towel, brought it back outside on our deck, and in the morning it was gone.
I live in Seattle, and though this was many summers ago now, I was quite worried about rabies and if my cats would have been exposed. So we took the active gato in, and the vet told me there isn’t much risk of her catching it so its no big deal.
Thank you for doing your best to save the bat! Poor little guy.
Rabies aside (and let’s talk about how many animals can get rabies, eh) bats fill a vital ecological niche and are pretty damn cool creatures.
When dogs start taking the time to bury their own shit, are capable of spending two days by themselves in the house without having a nervous breakdown, and become about 75% more soft and squishy THEN I’ll question the usefulness of cats.
In the meantime: My liddle fuzzy lumpkins, I think I’ll keep them.
I like dogs as well, but cats are sooooo much better as pets for lazy people like me. Does anyone even question this? Dogs are great but they’re a lot of work for the owner. That’s why I have
human pets children!
Right? And, as a bonus, the children eventually progress past the mental age of 3.
Cats are bought by people who like the idea of a pet, but really just want
to stroke something for 30 minutes a day, the rest of the time letting an
animal wander the community killing the local wildlife and shitting in
Also, dogs are awesome.