Saturday, July 7, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Little brown bat released and ready to fly.

From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!

Well we didn't have any goulies or ghosties, but we did have a bat that went bump in the night.  I was  asleep the other night (last Sunday night to be exact) when I was awakened by a scratching or bumping noise on the screen of our bedroom window.  It was a bright moonlit night and I could see the silhouette of a bat against the screen---not trying to get in but get out.  And boy did I want it to get out.
Bat trapped between window and screen, in corner as seen next morning

Close up of trapped bat roosting in the corner of  the screen the next morning
I woke Dan and he carefully lowered the window, trapping the bat in the space between the glass and the screen. The next morning Dan caught the bat in a towel and released it.  It flew away---probably back to our eaves.  It was a little brown bat and they are somewhat endangered.  There is a fungus that is attacking bats and is seriously reducing the bat population.  I'm glad this little guy got away and I hope he stays away.

While I was reading about little brown bats in preparation for this blog, I was alarmed to learn that a bat in a bedroom should be captured and tested for rabies because of the possibility of having had contact with the bat without realizing it when asleep.  This was AFTER we had released the bat.  Then I noticed two little marks on my leg that looked just like the pictures of a bat bite.  I was pretty sure that was where Maggie might have scratched me, but after talking with folks at Public Health over in Antigonish and explaining to them, they were emphatic that both Dan and I should have the rabies shots,  Apparently a person can be bitten by a bat without even knowing it, and since we were asleep with the bat in the bedroom we couldn't be sure we hadn't come in contact with it. 

Public Health quickly arranged to have the vaccine couriered over to Strait Richmond, the hospital nearest us, and late yesterday we went over and had our first round of shots.  Initially we each had seven shots, and I had to have most of mine in my leg where the suspected bite was.  Dan said they didn't hurt much, but I totally disagree.  The doctor apologized and said they would be bad, and the nurse who assisted him had had the shots herself when she was a child and came into contact with a pet raccoon and she warned me they would really hurt. The shots were pretty BAD---all seven of them.  And we have to have five more shots over a period of the next month.  But rabies is almost certainly fatal, and we couldn't take the risk.  The shots are 100% effective in preventing rabies.  So you won't see us foaming at the mouth---at least not from rabies.  Now we will have a three year immunity---just like our Maggie.

1 comment:

  1. OMG hope you were not bitten. But better to be safe, than sorry. And it did give you something
    to blog about. Next time find something safer to blog about.
    Love you....