Monday, December 28, 2020

The Visitor

 Tim had me busy sending a link for the orange stripper I used while doing the floors at our last renovation to someone who is doing the floors in HIS renovation. 

Suddenly I heard a huge hue and cry from the kitchen where he was warming up his scalloped potatoes for lunch. I clearly made out "Get out here. I need help." 

Tim's not a yeller, but when he is, we've got a bat in the house. I'm not sure why bats freak him out, but they do. It makes me laugh every time.

Our house is perfectly set up to rid ourselves of them. Every room has a door. You just back them out, room by room, until they are flying in circles in the foyer. and then you open the door and after a few circles, they veer outside. We've only had to actually kill one, and I am quite sure he was rabid, having seen that behavior before in a bat who tested positive. He was definitely ill, hanging upside down baring his tiny fangs, too weak to fly. We lifted him down gently with cowhide gloves and dispatched him humanely.

We don't get many these days because we've been mindful about figuring out where they get in and blocking those places up in our old house. It's also not exactly bat season, so I was a little curious as I headed for the kitchen. Much to my surprise there was a grackle circling around the kitchen, stopping to anxiously flutter at the window trying to get out. 

I was a little amazed. "How'd HE get in?" 

Tim said, "I don't know. I just came in the kitchen and there he was. He went nuts as soon as he saw me."

My first thought was that the bird wasn't the only thing that went nuts. 

Our feathered friend attempted to fly past me into the hall and into the rest of the house. I held up my hands and he flew back, landing on a grapevine wreath before dropping down and fluttering at the window again. 

I shut the kitchen door to the rest of the house and Tim shut the door to the basement. If he got down there it would take forever to find him, since there are lots of comforting dark nooks and crannies to hide in. 

Tim slowly moved to open the door to the mudroom and then the door to the outside. The bird began to panic once again and fly wildly around the kitchen. After a couple of laps, he landed on top of the door, his beak opening and closing wildly. 

We stood still and he ducked his head and glimpsed his direct path to freedom. In an instant, he was gone. 

If we are superstitious, we would believe that a bird in the house foretells an important message we will be receiving. We still haven't got a clue how he got in. The most likely way would be the fireplace chimney. It seems as if the cheerful woodfire would have prevented that. 

So who's got that important message for me? *waits expectantly*


  1. That is certainly perplexing and I can understand how Tim would be alarmed.

  2. Wow! How strange! No messages from me, though. :)

  3. Really taking a close look around, there is an unused chimney that runs down through the back of the house. It used to be for the coal furnace in the basement. We also think that there was probably a woodstove in the kitchen on the first floor and some small wood heat stoves on the second and third floors. The interesting thing is that we've got those old pipe flues sealed off in the chimney on the first, second and third floors, however it is open in the basement at the 'clean out'. The poor fellow must have dropped four stories, escaped into the basement, and then made his way up the stairs into the kitchen. (The basement door is always ajar to allow the cat access to her litter box.) It's never happened before. We hate to seal it off just in case some freak accident happens again. At least he got out.

    Somebody has to have an important message. Surely you're not saying that superstitions are just bogus.

  4. I had to deal with a bat in my grandmother's house once. She was totally freaking out about it. I pretended not to be. I caught it in a towel and took it outside. Bats are weird, but then they probably think we are weird.

  5. Bats are either good news or bad news in England, depending on whether you want to preserve or alter the building.

  6. Bats and grackles are all very good, but what caught MY attention was your reference to "the orange stripper." Isn't that what Trump's new prison name is going to be?

  7. I would be terrified to have a bat in the house. I would have to evacuate! A bird would be a different story although I'm not much good at strategizing. I'm glad that the grackle is gone.

  8. My job is removing bats from the front room. "Get it out of here". I also carry out rat funerals. The joys of rural living Debby.


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