Imagine my surprise (read: horror) last night, when our little Brit was indicating that she had spotted something on the ground. The kittens have an insatiable ability to detect bugs, and while they are keen to hunt them, they don’t do so well on the follow through. I’m quite certain their play has caused death by shock or heart attack for some insects, but for some reason, they aren’t quite able to squash them into oblivion – and so we have crippled bugs hobbling across the living room floor on occasion.
Both Brit and Jemaine perform this very strange head movement ritual when they have found a bug on the floor. They stand over it, looking down…but not just down. Their heads begin to spin in a strange side to side manner, as though they are recreating that famous scene from The Exorcist. Actually, it looks a little like this…
The head spinning kitten being the best indicator of a crawling insect in the vicinity, I went over to check out what it was she was looking at. Normally we’re subject to normal bugs such as spider, centipedes and the occasional ant. Last night, however, brought a whole new experience. As I peered down in front of Brit, I discovered a wriggling little worm. A larvae perhaps of the flies which we had been so diligent to remove from the home. A slight chill hit my spine as I saw this little creature moving around, barely visible on our kitchen’s light coloured tiles. Then I discovered a second…and a third. Our home was invaded!
Nothing would kill these things! They were like super mutant bugs…resistant to anything we sent their way. We sprayed them with bug spray. Ian threw them in a cup of water with bleach in it. Yet still they persisted. Okay, so I’m lying. There is something that would kill them…stepping on them. But the thought of them popping like a giant pimple on the floor just made me wretch, and so we picked them up with tissues and tossed them into the garbage, which was quickly emptied, or threw them into the bleachy water.
Ian eventually discovered the source of the infestation. Our green bin – which we both previously knew was not airtight, but hoped was bug-tight – spawned these little demonic beings into our lives. We like to send our food waste back into the ground…we don’t exactly appreciate when the ground comes back to haunt us. Finally the bugs were removed from the kitchen…the green bin thrown into the back yard to be dealt with come the morning light. No sooner do we sit down, there is a loud creaking noise now coming from the front door. A cricket has made its way into the house now…however, this little fellow was much easier to deal with, as when I opened the front door from outside, he must have hopped out into the darkness, never to bother us again.
Sadly, this has not been our first encounter with…creatures…in our home. Over the three years or so that we have lived in our current residence, we have had not one…not two…not even three…but four bats find their way into the house. The first was mere months after we moved in. Having never really lived in an older home like the one we are in, neither Ian nor myself have had the good fortune of encountering bats. Sophie, our only cat at the time, was poking around next to the storage unit on which our tv sat. As she was very persistent about it, Ian decided to grab the flashlight to see what she was so interested in. No sooner did he start to investigate, and something flew out, hit him in the head, and flew off. He assumed it was a bug…a very large bug. He then rushed into the bedroom proclaiming that something had hit him in the head, and that we now had a bat in the house. Eventually the bat tired himself out from flying repeated circles around our living room and kitchen, and ended up on our cupboards.
After about two hours of putting up sheets to prevent the bat from escaping the kitchen back into other rooms of the house, Ian and I did some breakdance fighting on the floor with some old window screens we found in the basement and managed to coax the bat to fly into the back porch, and out into the night. It was July…3 in the morning…and we were hot and tired.
Sometime in August of 2009, our bat chasing skills were tested once again. Having one bat removal under our belt, we were much more adept at getting this one out. The problem however was finding him. After we thought that we had confined him to a small room off of our kitchen, we could not find the bat at all. Ian was a little surprised when he ventured into the room, shrugged, and then turned around to see this…
We found a small box and I bravely tried to catch the bat in the box for safe transport outside. After a couple of false starts, I got him in the box and brought him out to the yard. Little did I know, bats don’t do so well trying to fly out of boxes. So I flipped the box over and out went the bat. Problem solved. Until about an hour later when a second bat swooped into the living room while we recovered from the first experience that night. We must have been remarkably quick removing the second from the house though, as I do not recall the details of this one. Ian and I considered the two visits as a blessing for our wedding from the bat world – we were planning our wedding for a few months later on Halloween. Fitting, no?
Most recently, I was commenting to my brother how we hadn’t had any bats in the house for a while, so we were pleased. I should know better than to gloat. The night I made the comment, I awoke to a strange swishing noise. Laying in bed, I could see a dark shadow flitting around in circles above my bed. Ugh. Another bat. Ian and I are now professional bat removers. This one took ten minutes.
We’ll probably never see any of these creatures again…we don’t know how they got in…but what’s important as that they got out. Strangers in the night? Most definitely…
I suspect the next bat we see will herald Chris Nolan’s third installment to the Batman series…seems appropriate.