Last night after our red-headed 5 year old, Dalia, got up for the umpteenth time, I finally told her she could sleep in our bed, even though I was still watching the Olympics. She and I are in bed and my husband's in the room working on his laptop when all of a sudden this bat comes out of nowhere. I yell, "There's a bat!" and pull the covers over Dalia and me as my husband bolts out of the room.
While calming Dalia down ("Yes, you're safe. Yes, bat's bite - but you're safe. No, we shouldn't wake your sisters up to tell them at this time ...), I peek out to see the bat flitting around in circles along the ceiling. I grab the phone from the nightstand and call to DH for a broom and the police non-emergency number just in case there's an animal patrol officer on duty at 11 pm. No dice. They can send a regular police officer but he’d just do what we would, i.e., try to guide the bat out an open window with a broom. I figure, why bother the police if we can do it ourselves?
In the meantime, DH has slid the broom under the door (my first clue that he had no intentions of re-entering the room). I put a pillow case over my head because I don’t quite remember if the thing about bats getting caught in hair is an old wives' tale and I’m not taking chances. By now the bat is hanging off the top of the closet door. I inch my way over to the window to remove the screen and then over to the broom (near the bat), pick the broom up, steel my nerves and whack! ... which sends the bat flying in circles again. Every time it circles near me, I swing the broom at it and try to guide it out the window yelling, "Out the window!" Dalia, still under the covers keeps chiming in, "Yeah bat, listen to Mama, fly out the window!" After, oh, 5 minutes of this, I'm getting a pretty good workout but the bat just doesn't get the idea to fly a bit lower so it can find, and use, the open window.
So I ask DH to grab another broom because maybe the two of us can guide the bat out. Response: "Uh, I'd better check that the chimney flue (in the living room) is closed in case that’s how the bat got in" Me: Huh? "You can do that later. Can you please grab another broom and come in here?" Him: “Actually, I have cold feet.” Points for honesty! So we call the police back. The first officer comes up wearing gloves and asking for a blanket to trap the bat in. By now, the bat is hanging off the louvered window shutters. After hemming an hawing and discussing rabies (modes of transmission, vaccination, etc.), he admits that he’s terrified and calls for his partner to come up. Wow, more points for honesty! The second officer comes up, sees our mesh pop-up laundry basket (wish I’d thought of that before calling the police), quickly catches the bat and shakes it out the window.
Needless to say, Dalia didn’t object to sleeping in her bed for the rest of the night!