Bats in my Belfry

DH & I have a simple rule: Satuday-night = Date-night. A few weekends ago we managed to stick to our rule for the first time in ages. We went to the Cinema and saw “Batman: The Dark Knight”. Knowing what we know about Heath Ledger’s untimely demise (what do we know?) it was disconcerting to hear him say his lines – they are so dark, so full of despair. It’s hard not to imagine that he didn’t leave the role behind him after the cameras stopped rolling.

Around the same time I had read an interesting post by following a link from Tea and Cakes’ Blog:

Alison Bechdel, cartoonist and author of “Dykes to Watch Out For”, has an interesting observation on movies — a little test she applies to them. It’s a very short checklist, viz:

1. Does it have at least two women in it,

2. Who [at some point] talk to each other,

3. About something besides a man. –

“Batman: The Dark Knight” fails. Despite all that, the film is not without merit. It’s full of excitement and tension, though it suffers from a lack of brevity. All in all, I preferred Batman Returns. Christian Bale doesn’t disappoint, of course, but he’s nowhere near as exciting as The Real Thing… (No! I’m not talking about Val Kilmer – Please!) Yup, at the begining of the summer we had a Close Encounted of the Bat Kind.

One evening, at bedtime, DH noticed an UFO – in our bedroom. Bigger than a moth and quieter than a bird, something was circling the light. I was no help, what-so-ever, in identifying what it was. I was busy keeping my head buried under the duvet. As suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. DH eventually tracked it down, hiding in a crevice in the kids’ room. We got them up out of their beds, opened the windows of their bedroom, closed the door and hoped for the best in the morning.

The next day, there was no sign of any wildlife making a bid for captivity and I breathed a sigh of relief. Until the afternoon when something silent and fluttery appeared again, this time in the kitchen, as if out of nowhere. Naturally, DD had a play-date over at the time. Naturally, everyone was in the kitchen at the time. Naturally, no-one can cope with nature at close quarters. Trying to keep the expletives to a minimum, I hussled the kids out of the kitchen and attempted to appear calm, for their sakes. Meanwhile, the bat decided to take a nose dive at our open window. Unfortunately, for him, we have insect screens on our kitchen windows. Knowing that there would be space for him, between the screen and the pane, I closed the window. Not having him fluttering frantically around the house gave me a chance to think.

I’m aware that Bats are a protected species in Ireland so I looked up Bats Conservation Ireland and discovered:

Contact us

If you have any questions about bats that you need answered immediately – for instance if you have bats entering the living area of your house – you can call the batline 046 9242882 or 01 8011474

Oh yes, I think that’s me! I quickly dialed the BatPhone and got talking to Batwoman, herself: an amazing woman who seems to have dedicated her life, and those of her family, to doing all in her power to help the Bats of Ireland . She talked me through what was happening, from the Bat’s point of view: that he was naturally trying to borrow his way into the smallest crevice of our window frame; that he really didn’t want to be indoors; that he’d rather sleep right now; that he’s probably petrified and doing his best to cope with the stress. She also talked me through what he needed to happen: that he should be released at dusk, his natural feeding time; that he should be released near mature trees; that he should be released at shoulder height; that we’d need to wear gloves handling him; that we should put him in a cardboard box and leave the cardboard box outside, in the branch of a tree. She reassured me that he was safe where he was now, because the window I’d “caught” him in is north facing and therefore shaded and he wasn’t going to over-heat or de-hydrate.

I don’t cope well with wild-life that make fast, unpredicable movements; regardless of how small they are. Once I was able to look at him, while he was resting, I could see just how cute he is – take a look:

There must be some means of escape...

"There must be some means of escape..."

 As I wrote this post (something I’ve been meaning to do for a while) I had another snoop around the Bat Conservation Ireland website. Take a look at their Data page. Search under Dublin and Unidentified Bat. I think that’s our little guy: the dot on the part that looks like the eyebrow of a shouting man with a sticking-out nose. Okay, now I really sound like I’ve gone Batty! I know why that is too – I’ve picked up GlenvArgh! again and re-commenced frogging The Behemoth. I’ve yet to figure out if re-attempting this project will benefit my sanity or be to its detriment.