Living Gargoyle


OK – I’ll admit that I squealed when it flew toward me. But unlike my cats, I did not run away and hide.

Oh no – instead, I grabbed a hat (I know the hair thing is probably apocryphal…but), closed the bedroom door, opened both windows and just sort of stood uselessly flapping my arms as it zipped around, frantically trying to escape.

The earlier one went right out the window; this one? Not so good with the echo location. (Yes, the above is the second of two bats in the house last night. I need to add a belfry.)

It seems I tired out the poor little bugger, because he kept trying to rest…only to take off again as I advanced on it. Once completely knackered, it alighted on the floor…at which point JJ decided to give his bat-hunting skills another shot.

Good work there JJ; you made the the bat scuttle behind a baseboard, then you retreated under the bed when it squealed at you. My hero. As if I could sleep with a bat in my baseboard.

I herded the cats from the room, grabbed my pillow, turned off the light and shut the door, then headed for the first floor to sleep on the couch.

But…eek! My alarm clock got left behind. When I opened the door to retrieve it, I was dive-bombed.

And now I’m glad I’ve not finished unpacking. This time, I opened the windows, dumped a bin full of towels on the floor, managed to capture the bat in the bin, then summarily dumped it out the window (the bat, not the bin).

Alarm clock in hand, I headed back to the couch. For all I know, there were three of them.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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22 Responses to Living Gargoyle

  1. miathet says:

    That makes for a great night sleep too…

    One suggestion that has worked for me until I insulated enough they went away mostly I hope we’ll its’ been a couple years. I started keeping a broom nearby. I found that when suddenly an object appear in front of them they go down and turn one direction. I would go to the edge of the window /door and steer it out. I got good enough to steer most of them out fairly quickly and I had the broom if things got out of hand.

    Good luck bats are really a pain

  2. J.C. says:

    I’m assuming that you haven’t any screens on your windows yet? It’s good to remember that the little buggers can eat their diminutive weight in mosquitoes every night. You might be wanting to dust off a bat house plan and add that to your need-to-build list.

  3. Kinderhook88 says:

    Catching bats is no easier than herding cats. There, I’m a poet. Hope you get this resolved…

  4. John says:

    Actually the hair thing is true. Somewhere in the attic there’s a picture of my older sister holding the bat that got tangled in her hair. Mom had to cut it out and Dad took the picture. Truly ironic, I was just telling a co-workr about that episde eaarlier today.

  5. steveschafer says:

    A bat that doesn’t want to fly out the window, given the opportunity, is likely to be sick, and possibly rabid. Don’t touch.

    • fitz says:

      It wanted to get out, but I should have opened the top sash, not the bottom one (though I fervently hope that deduction doesn’t come in handy…)

      • steveschafer says:

        Normally, a bat can figure out where the window opening is via echolocation, not eyesight. It definitely sounds like there was something wrong with it.

        I had a couple of bats in my attic that got trapped when they fell into a length of vent pipe that was standing on end. They didn’t have enough elbow room to fly out, and they couldn’t climb up the smooth walls of the pipe. They were in there a couple of days before I found them (I could hear faint scratching from below), and were clearly in pretty bad shape. Nevertheless, I opened a window that was about thirty feet away and around a corner (yes, there is an operable window in my attic; no, I don’t know why). I then put a wooden stick into the pipe so that they could climb out, and they did so, flew back and forth twice to get their bearings, and were out the window, all within a couple of minutes.

  6. Paul says:

    A Great story, it sounds like our nut house. We have had birds and a couple crazed squirrels

  7. potomacker says:

    Americans don’t say knackered. Somebody’s been hanging around limeys for too long.

    • fitz says:

      Nah – just watch a lot of PBS. And read.

      • toolnut says:

        Shakespeare used “knackered”?

        • fitz says:

          I do read (lots of) other stuff, you know. But no, he did not. OED has the first reference as 1886.

          • toolnut says:

            I know you do and I know he didn’t and I know you know that I know you do and that I know he didn’t. Wait, maybe you don’t know that I know that you know I know, in which case I don’t know that you know I know that. Which means I unknowingly made a false statement. ( This has got to be some kind of record. Anybody know?)

            This could have all been avoided with a simple emoticon. I know that now.

            (My apologies for being in an extremely goofy mood today.)

  8. Mark says:

    Of course you must realize that the bats are almost certainly already back somewhere in your house through whatever form of egress they usually use, probably somewhere in the eaves or an attic vent. From there, they’re apparently finding they’re way down into your living space. I suggest a poke about the attic looking for their droppings. They tend to “nest” near where they get in and out. Once found, you can seal the entry and hope they’ll take up residence in a neighbors house and leave you alone.

    • fitz says:

      I do indeed. But one is not supposed to employ bat removal techniques until September because the babies are nursing right now, and bats are an endangered (and generally useful, not harmful) species. So I closed off the vent through which they likely got into my second floor (I’d removed it on Saturday to paint the hallway), and last night, no bats! Though I also hung around outside at twilight for about 1/2 hour, and saw no bats emerging from the eaves or elsewhere…so I’m not altogether convinced they’re nesting in my house – though I’ll look again this evening. Anyway, batproofing (which, frankly, is tilting at windmills) is on the list for the fall, as necessary.

      • toolnut says:

        I like the bat box idea, directs them to where you want them. And as mentioned above, they are very good at controlling the skeeter population.

      • Mark says:

        You’re absolutely right about bats being useful but any bat or other critters (snakes, ughh), who attempt to share my home are fair game as far as I’m concerned.

  9. John Wolf says:

    I’ve had a lot of bats in the house over the years. It’s fairly easy to knock them out of the air with a broom or towel (being careful to not swing wildly and knock over lamps, etc.). Drop a towel over the grounded bat, pick up the bundle and toss the whole thing out the door. Usually the bat drops out of the towel and flies off. Those that don’t have always been gone by morning, and to my surprise I have only killed one over the years.

  10. bsrlee says:

    One: Don’t build a belfry, you KNOW where that leads………………

    Two; You DO realise that most mobile phones made since, oh, the 1990’s, have a clock and alarm function. They also don’t fail to go off if the house power goes out overnight.

    I have had more trouble with parrots falling down the chimney looking for a nesting spot – they bite hard, even when wrapped in a towel. Can’t find a window or door to save themselves and they cr@p everywhere.

  11. Brian says:

    Poor batty. White nose disease is rampant this summer. Which means less gargoyles and more 🐜

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