I’ve been sick. I’ll even grant that I’ve been VERY sick. But I’m recovering quickly.

And if I’M hallucinating… so is my dog.

Those of you who have been bored enough to read this drivel for that long may remember from my entry on my daughter’s newly found phobia of spiders may also remember that we’ve had many visitors in our house that were… well… if not unwelcome, than at least uninvited and unprepared for.

You may also remember that I determined totally on my own and with not a solitary SHRED of evidence (that’s a good thing, right?) that phobias occur because of something scary that happens when you are tired. This would explain why creatures of the night are more commonly feared… you know… bats… roaches… opossums… werewolves. Because we only SEE those things at times when we are prone to tiredness. What… YOU don’t see werewolves at night? That’s because they hide in closets when they hear you coming.

ANYWHO…

If that truly IS the case…

I will probably wake tomorrow with a NEW phobia of my own.

It was 10pm. I was tired. Ready for bed. I had been very… very… ill on Saturday. Feeling much better. Still not in ‘peak form’ whatever that means for me. I sleepily started for the stairs when I hear a curious scratching.

First thought… Tidus?? (dog…. large dog…very well behaved dog) What ARE you doing?

No. Tidus is curious too. But not looking down where creatures you normally think of when you hear “scritch, scratch” are. No. He’s looking UP. This immediately alarms me. I’m tall. I don’t like things that hover above my head in my own house. I’m just not USED to that. Things below my eye level… that’s okay.

I follow his gaze to a circular chimney vent that’s probably been in the wall since the dawn of time. Whose cover was knocked slightly askew when my (2 years ago) one year old threw a ball into the turning fan which thrust it a bit too hard at said cover. We couldn’t wrestle it completely back together. It never let in a draft. No more fuss was made over the thing. But now…

SOMETHING is inside it. Not just ANY something. A something with wings.

Let’s flashback to college when I asked if we could keep a captured bat from our Chapel in our Teacher’s Education room. How much more educational can you get??? We had just been discussing the benefits of pets in a classroom and had brought in an adorable little bunny as a resident. They were even encouraging us to bring in other pets! I had done all the calling to all the authorities… when I cross the campus to pick up my prize, the janitor sheepishly says that he opened the box to see it and it flew away outside. Okay… I’m thinking.. no. That’s not what happened. I never outright accused her, but I have this NAGGING suspicion that a phone call was made from a certain person’s office shortly after that certain person VERY RELUCTANTLY gave me permission to procure the flying rodent for our classroom. A phone call that said something like…”Let it go right now! Don’t you DARE let her have it! I thought the people in charge of creepy animals would shut her down!” I still love her, but I was very disappointed.

All that to say… that BATS aren’t the problem. Oh no. Bats are cute. They eat bugs. They hang upside down. They can climb on your hand. Just read Stellaluna and see how utterly fun they really are.

Bats aren’t a problem, but ever since my brother’s wife and three kids had to report to a hospital for a series of VERY PAINFUL rabies shots I HAVE decided that rabies isn’t really my thing. (fan of bats… not a big fan of needles… specially not when they have to enter via your abdomen… on three different occasions. ICK. OW. Doing that with your children in tow?)

Give me a VACCINATED pet bat any day. Keep the unvaccinated ones out of my home.

(And yes, there is a reason why rabies from bats threatens me more than rabies from mice, dogs, etc…. bat teeth are very tiny and the people they bite don’t always know it – ERGO entire family going in for shots because a bat was in their yard and they MIGHT have gotten bit. You get bit by any of those other carriers… like dogs, say, and you will probably notice something. Then, at least, you don’t spend the needle sticking experience wondering if this procedure is actually necessary. Pain that is or might be Unnecessary is ten times worse than other pain. 9 out of 10 of the doctors that I didn’t interview told me so.)

So here we are. Potentially rabid creature in a vent trying to get out and infect my beautiful children. It’s time for some hero action.

Unfortunately, my valiant husband is at work… so what does the responsible adult of the house do?

She calls her mommy.

Mommy says, “Just seal it in.”

I say, “I thought of that, but the cover wouldn’t go on before and I don’t think I can hold a box up there until he decides to come out… besides, how would I on my own get a cover over the box if he DID get out? I’d be stuck standing there until Matt returns!!”

She replies, “Garbage bag. Tape the top part first, tape the bottom around it. If it gets out, grab a fistful of bag at the neck and then fling it out the door.”

I say, “yes. Wise. Thank you. Oh. Hey. I realize I woke you, but… don’t you want to stay on the phone with me while I perform this procedure. You know, in case I feel the need to exclaim loudly in your ear?

She replies, “Sure, honey.”

This is EXACTLY why we celebrate mother’s day, people.

So I go get the garbage bag and slowly approach the vent, phone in hand. But something’s gone wrong.

Since I’ve now typed off much of my nervous energy… I’ll stop there. I might finish the story later. I might even include how sensitive and caring my husband was about the whole situation when he arrived home… just like he told me to.

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