A dear friend posted a picture of thousands of bats coming out of a cave and it brought to mind a story that I just have to tell.
So grab a cuppa whatever and sit back and relax as it is story time.
You know how I love to tell stories and this is a story about bats and one I will never forget.
It all happened one night when we were living on the ranch in the mountains of New Mexico.
And as it always seemed to happen, if there was any kind of excitement going on at the ranch, you could almost always count on my husband not to be there.
That would happen on the week he was traveling.
I mean it is like Murphy’s law.
The Santa Gertrudis bull, who weighs about 2000 pounds gets out of the pasture, and I am the one searching the roads in the dark trying to find him.
Never once thinking of what I am going to do once I find him…but that is another story for another time and I promise I will tell you how I solved that issue.
So my teenage twins were sound asleep and so was I.
In the mountains and on a working ranch, bedtime is usually by 10 pm at the latest, sometimes earlier. LOL
I am a bit of a light sleeper and imagine my surprise when our cat Cali….so named because she was a beautiful calico tortoise color cat…jumped up on the bed.
Now, this was not unusual, as she was such a discriminating feline, as most cats are… she would sleep with whoever she had a mind to…even abandoning all the beds in the house for the front picture window….or the fireplace hearth.
I felt her at the foot of the bed but instead of snuggling down she began to do a tap dance.
She would stop for a few seconds, and I would cuddle my pillow only to have her start up her rythmatic antics again.
I sat up in bed and looked at this dancing cat.
I know I had a frown on my face as I studied her for a few seconds.
She was sitting on her haunches and had both paws in the air, swiping wildly towards the ceiling.
I remember asking her what her problem was. (I thought she might be going into some sort of fit or seizure).
I couldn’t see a thing, but her outline in the dark, so I flipped on the night stand lamp.
All of a sudden, she jumped off the bed and scampered towards the living room.
I looked around my bedroom and seeing nothing, I flipped off the lamp and thinking the cat was having hallucinations, went back to my summertime sleeping.
And then, she jumped back on the bed again.
I flipped the light on again.
I was about to threaten to toss her outside, when she stood almost completely on her hind feet ….to make herself a little taller and started the paw swiping much like a boxer in a ring.
And then something swooped down near my hair.
I jumped out of bed and said to nobody in particular…“What was that?”
OK. I think I yelled it, because by this time, I had identified the creature that was driving Cali to look as if she were performing in a circus act.
The next thing I knew was this black bat was swooping and diving from corner to corner of the room…. and the twins,… startled by all the commotion, were both standing at my bedroom door.
They were ducking and holding their hands over their heads as I quietly said “get something so we can shoo this thing out of the house”.
OK. I didn’t say it quietly, I believe I was screaming at this time as I, too, tried to protect myself from this vampire that was aiming from my neck.
OK. It wasn’t a vampire bat.
But it could have been.
We had a hat rack near the front door and so the boys scrambled for their cowboy hats and tossed me my big floppy cowboy hat.
I grabbed an umbrella from my closet and I noticed one of the boys had a broom and the other one had a mop and we were all doing the dance of the swooping bat, while trying to protect ourselves and get this creature of the night back outside where it belonged.
We opened both the back and the front door hoping it would want to escape the chaos of these three people in crazy cowboy hats, dressed in pajama bottoms (the boys) and a purple nightgown, me of course.
I am so glad there was not a person taking pictures as we ran from room to room chasing this bat, swinging our weapons wildly, jumping on furniture, reaching into corners…well, you get the picture.
I don’t know how long this melee lasted but finally, we got the bat outside and hurriedly shut all the doors, so it could not circle around and come back inside.
The next question was how did it get into the ranch house in the first place.
Had it come in as one of us were coming or going and just sat hanging from the ceiling biding it’s time and waiting on us to go to sleep so it could come down and suck all our blood out????
Did this bat have other bats just lurking outside waiting for their chance to come in our home?
Or had this single bat accidentally come down the fireplace chimney on it’s nightly excursion for food.
We will never know.
Of course, when the twins told their father about the episode when he came home, he laughed and said it must have been a big horse fly.
He said he had never heard of that happening before and he grew up on this ranch.
Hrummmph! horse fly my foot.
We know what happened that night.
And from that night forward, we slept with a night light on, and made sure the damper was always closed on the fireplace.
Oh, and we gave Cali the cat a little catnip as a reward for her service as a watch cat.
Have you ever had an encounter with bats or a single bat?
As an FYI, there are all kinds of bats in New Mexico….. including hoary bats and long nosed bats …not that I want to be that close to see them.
Oh, and just so you know…the pics in this post have nothing to do with bats.
They are of the flowers in my Secret Garden and I thought you might like to see them.
Have a great day.