This is my cat Rusty. This is my cat Rusty…HIDING…in what he considers a very safe spot. He knows he can make a quick getaway under the bed’s dust ruffle. Why is Rusty hiding? Well, Rusty hides at the first sign of visitors or something going awry, and my, oh my, did things go awry a week or two ago.
The first sign of trouble was a noise that sounded animal-like coming from the chimney. Both Rusty and I noticed the small muffled squeak. Rusty stared in the direction of the fireplace, and I mentioned the sound to my husband, who gave his usual reply of, “It’s nothing.” Okay, I conceded, I wasn’t sure I really heard anything anyway. I forgot all about it. The next afternoon I had a rude reminder on the return from a beach outing. I opened the front door and instantly was assaulted by the image of a bat flying around my dining room. According to my husband, I backed out of the door saying, “Oh, oh, oh…”
Funny…fleetingly, the old 1960’s symbol of the show Batman was the first thought that crossed my mind. The bat, illuminated against the yellow-green walls of the dining room exactly resembled the “bat signal” as it flew. I expected Adam West and Burt Ward to show up. (I’m giving away my age.) The next thought was, “Get out of here…NOW!” I did. That was mistake number two. By the time I convinced my husband I saw a bat, the creature had disappeared somewhere in the house.
We both walked around the house, with a broomstick, thumping on walls and near pictures. I still don’t think Joe really believed I had seen a bat. The bat was nowhere. (Rusty had retreated to his safe spot and was no help at all) After several minutes of this we still had no idea what to do. I began to pray that God would help us find the bat. Suddenly, the bat made another appearance and began swooping around the house. It really did seem attracted to our heads, especially mine, I wonder if it is because they are guided by sound. A swooping bat is not a sight or sound for the fainthearted.
I really did not want to kill it. I felt a bit sorry for it. Joe didn’t feel the same. He had the broom and swung it as the bat flew near his head. I had a bucket at the ready to scoop up the unfortunate broom-swatted bat. It flew so quickly, and was so efficient at dodging the broom bristles by flying near our heads, that knocking it down before it touched or bit one of us seemed hopeless. I began praying and held the bucket up near my head. Praise God for a miracle and an answer to prayer, the bat suddenly flew smack into the bucket I was holding up, and became tangled in the work gloves at the bottom. “I’ve got it!” I yelped. We both ran outside and pushed the bucket over on the grass and the winged marauder flew away.
It was risky letting it go. I know that now after reading articles about bats getting caught indoors. Bats do carry rabies, but it is rare. You run more of a risk of getting rabies from a racoon or skunk or stray pet. I don’t think it was sick, I just think it was an unlucky bat, flying around at night, minding his own business, who somehow flew into a chimney and spent hours wiggling out through a crack in the fireplace screen.
God answers prayer, yes he does! Sometimes you need to wait for the answer, but sometimes, he is very, very fast. Amen!