Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How You Get Wings On the Cat

I've had this song running through my head for a few days, the Carly Simon/James Taylor song that goes like this:

De bat he rat got wings
All the children know that
What I need to know from the lord
Is how you get de wings on the cat
They say a bat's got radar
And he can fly through fan
But what I am afraid of is
That he got another plan
To fly in me face
Fly in me face

The other night, there were three people in my house—Husband, Eustacia, and Me—and we were each on a different floor going about our business as people do, when Husband came upstairs and calmly said, "OK, we have a bat in the basement." There is a slouchy family room on that floor with big, comfortable furniture and a large TV, and we go there to watch movies or old episodes of West Wing—yep, we're still doing that. Husband had been down there watching the news.

My office is just off of that room, and when my husband saw a bat swoop in and go into my office, he shut the door, trapping the thing in there. Earlier that day, we had a repairman in the house who was there to fix an air conditioning unit, and he had left the door to the furnace room open. Apparently there is a gap to the outside world in that furnace room, and we're guessing the bat got in through that route, or maybe any other spot in the house as a bat only needs a dime-sized gap to get in.

So, Eustacia and I followed Husband downstairs, and the three of us stood outside my office window and watched the bat fly in circles—it's an exposed wall with full-sized windows at ground level. The thing I like to keep in mind with these nasty little animals is that they don't want to be in the house—they get there by accident, and all they really want is to get out. They don't want to eat my food, don't want to sleep in my bed or pet the cat or play a tune on the piano. And they certainly don't want to latch onto my hair and make a nest.

The little bat was frantic, and at one point, after crawling down the curtains like a web-legged spider, he found the windows. He rested on the window sill and looked out at the trees and bushes, the stuff much more like his natural habitat than my music stand, stacks of paper and giant computer screen. He used his tiny hand at the end of his bat wing to paw at the glass, and it was so sad and pathetic. Bats are repulsive, but we still said, "Aww, poor guy." No one wanted to go in and open the window because it's a small room, and once you're in, you're trapped in with a disturbed bat. We had a tennis racket and blankets for covering our heads and the pool skimmer on a telescoping pole, but still we all stood outside and looked in at the bat. We looked into our own house from the outside and talked through the options.

Finally, we decided to open the windows in the family room, and I positioned myself in the doorway leading to the rest of the basement armed with both the tennis racket and the skimmer on the pole. Eustacia stood outside to watch the windows, and Husband opened up the office door and high-tailed it outside to watch the door. The hope was that the bat would fly out of the office and leave—I stood my ground to make sure he didn't go the wrong way, but he wouldn't even leave the office, just kept flying in circles.

Husband, draped in a blanket, ran in and unlocked and opened a window, then ran out again and shut the office door behind him. Then we all stood outside to witness the bat's escape. The idiot still flew in circles and wouldn't leave, so with the window now unlocked, we opened the top section, thinking he might see the opening better, but still nothing.

I have gauzy curtains hanging on the sides of the windows with interesting shiny things hanging from the rod in between. I also have a glass globe that was a gift from a dear friend hanging from the rod—the idea is that you see the globe glowing in the sunlight, and you think nice things of the friend who gave it to you. I watched this globe sway a bit with the air current disturbed by bat wings, and I thought about how I was going to lose my special globe.

I was right. Husband reached in and unlocked and opened the second window and then stuck the skimmer on the pole in the window to try to guide the bat out of the room. I watched the pole swing from side to side with the bat using his special radar to avoid it, and then I watched my globe being smashed to smithereens.

The bat flew out with a sigh of relief soon after, and that was the end of that. The end of the bat fiasco, the end of the family standing out in the grass at night looking in, and the end of the globe I've had hanging in my window for several years in honor of my friend.

After I let the cat into the basement and was sweeping up the broken shards of glass, I heard myself singing:

De bat he rat got wings
All the children know that
What I need to know from the lord
Is how you get de wings on the cat
They say a bat's got radar
And he can fly through fan
But what I am afraid of is
That he got another plan
To fly in me face
Fly in me face

And now I can't seem to get it out of my head. "One thing I forgot to tell you about the human race, Everybody get a little upset when a bat fly in they face."

2 comments:

pf said...

The sight of you three doing your thing to remove the bat must have been rich!!!!! I can only imagine...

kyle@sift said...

If it happens again...just go in the room with a towel in your hand not over your head.He will not swoop down at you and bite your neck, I swear. The bat will become frightened and eventually settle in one spot. Carefully place the towel over him, scoop him up gently and release him outside.
You should have been playing Strauss' Die Fleidermaus during last night's adventure!