Bat basketed

Little brown bats are again common visitors to area homes. Photo by Bernard A. Drew

Case opened  21:01 hours, top of stairs in attic chamber outside master bedroom: Flickering shadows from energy-efficient lightbulb turned out to be caused by a circling bat. Backup called and assault team assembled.

First-to-show was Night Security Officer Winslow the Cat, who danced on the railing in frantic manner, pawing upward as if to nab invader in his paws.

Senior SWAT team member arrived and delegated Officer Cat (under protest) to downstairs traffic control. 

Reporting Officer assembled a hastily emptied wicker wastepaper basket and cream-colored plastic microwave oven lid.

21:03, team reconvened at top of stairs, snapped mug shot of perp. Perp had origamied him/herself against roof beams in attempt to blend in.

Rafter clinger tentatively identified on scene as little brown bat. Which turned out to be its actual name: Little Brown Bat, alias Myotis lucifugus, about 4 inches tall, known to sleep during daylight hours, search for food at night. 

21:04, Reporting Officer clasped wicker basket in left hand, lid in right. Bat leapt into the air.  It made short loop and flew directly into basket. Basket hastily covered.

21:05, following stern lecture, perp was walked outside kitchen door and released. It silently flew off into the dark.

During debriefing, Officer Cat was very agitated and nearly incoherent but got across the point that he had seen this same Little Brown Bat three days earlier in the basement and that was  why he had made such a ruckus as he climbed up assorted workshop accumulation to reach basement ceiling. 

SWAT team commended Officer Cat for his diligence and offered to provide flash cards in the future so he could be more specific as to the cause for his concern. Cat was assured there would be cards for an elephant and boa constrictor, just in case.

21:07, episode posted to Facebook, resulting in several responses. Most were impressed by speed of apprehension. 

Some reported similar incidents at their homes. Several cautioned about health protocols, i.e. the difficulty in detecting bat bites and need, in some instances, to obtain rabies inoculations.

Some thought perp was cute, others said it scared them silly.

“Bats are coming back! Hooray!” said one, in reference to white-nose syndrome, which has taken considerable toll on bat population since 2007.

“I can’t believe some people would kill a bat! Think of all the mosquitoes they eat,” said another. Yes, they eat large quantities of moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes, midges and mayflies.

One individual said she was pleased officers knew old trick her mother had taught her: “Hold up a paper bag that is dark and they will fly in. No brooms, no tennis rackets! Just a gentle escape.” 

Case closed.


The writer has also been visited by a pair of juvenile raccoons, a woodchuck, a brown rabbit, a chipmunk and a doe and two fawns.