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The orange bat

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at 11:14 AM

Every story has more than one side. This is one such side of one such story.

For our first ten years in Indiana we lived in what we city born & bred old folks considered "rural". We were right next to Clearview Cemetery, near corn fields and cows and everything. Life long Hoosiers laughed when we said it was "out in the country."

From time to time, according to Kay, an orange cat would stray by. Didn't know whether there was or was not such a thing as an orange cat; but there aren't many things to spoof her about, so it became the family joke.

Benji, our youngest, was still home then, and he was more than happy to humor mother:

"Yes, mommy, of course you saw an orange cat."

"No, mommy, nobody else has seen it; but if you say you did then it must be true."

Of course, as such things go it is remotely possible me and Benji might have caught sight of what might have been an orange cat once (or twice, or more). There was, however, no fun in conceding that.

We moved into town six years back, and the orange cat was forgotten (unless Kay mentioned a stray animal passing through the yard -- in which case she might be asked whether it was orange.)

Then last week came the invasion of the bat.

I was in the shower when the door opened and I heard "There's a bat in the house!"

As said, lived all my life in the big city where occasions to encounter bats are rare. I'd never actually seen one, nor given thought as to what one did about them. Strange how the mind works: My first thought upon hearing Kay's outcry being, "who do you call about a bat?" (Did have occasion a few days later to ask a Highway Patrolman as to whom one would call? He knew who to call if there was an infestation, but not for one. We agreed a prudent approach would be to wait for the bat to die of starvation and follow the smell.)

By the time I was out of the shower the bat had "disappeared". Maybe, she wistfully hoped, he'd found his way out the open door? I was good with that (or the starvation thing).

We couldn't resist the golden opportunity: Was the bat orange?

No, it was not.

Four days later the bat "reappeared". Maybe starvation drove him out? Where he'd been hiding we really did not want to think about.

The bat was in the master bedroom, I was told. Dutifully followed close after and shut the door behind me. If he was in here, if there was a bat, he was trapped.

Kay caught him against the glass behind a curtain, with a broom. I handed her a handy trash can complete with plastic bag liner. My thought process being, how do you trap a bat?

Kay's thought process was markedly dissimilar -- how do you kill a bat? Kay, as it often is, won the rodent battle of 2012.

It was a bat, she told me so. It was black, or at least blackish. Of course I wasn't interested enough to look too close, what with the blood and all. It almost certainly was not orange, as far as anyone knows.

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You gotta love those little inside family jokes!


-- Posted by Charles Hear on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 12:04 PM

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