In my attempt to be light-hearted about the topic, I mistakenly led many of you to believe that we’re not serious about the dangers in keeping bats.
Thank you for all your calls, comments, and emails. We’re not keeping them, so you can rest at ease.
I like to think that I’m a level-headed person, rarely over-reacting about the challenges of my life. And I obviously would like you to believe the same, or I might have provided you more detailed information about last weekend’s “oh my god, do something; we’re all going to die of rabies” tirade, directed at none other than Ben, of course.
When we moved in, one of the first things I wanted to do (i.e., wanted Ben to do) was fix the gaps in the walls of Matthew’s room. Of course, I also wanted to fix up the back porch, paint everything, replace the bedroom doors, re-do the kitchen, replace the windows, among other things. In fact, one of the first things I wanted to do (i.e., wanted Ben to do) when we moved in was everything.
So some things were put aside.
And then there were bats.
Last weekend was horrible. I was suffering from a double-day migraine, and Ben and I were suffering from an inability to communicate. It was nearly impossible to figure out what we were doing, as too many projects often loom over us, and we hadn’t even agreed on a trim for the upstairs. But something had to be done, and I said something like, “I don’t care anymore, just get whatever and fix Matthew’s room before one of the bats has rabies and bites one of the kids!”
Pleasant, huh? I’m sure I’m softening it up a bit because I seem to remember that at the time I would not shut up. (Poor Ben.)
I’m telling you this because I want you all to know that, if nothing else, we are well-educated about wildlife and rabies. There have been a few cases of rabid animals in our area, and our public health department has definitely educated our community. Foxes, skunks, and bats — we stay away from them. Last year there was even a local case of a girl who contracted rabies, did not receive prophylaxis treatment, and survived.
This isn’t to say that there are a lot of rabid animals around these parts. Less than 1% of bats carry rabies, and I don’t think that percentage is much different in our county; I am confident when I tell my irrational self to calm the fuck down.
We don’t even know how the bats were getting in. In April, we assumed they had flown in through an open door. And a few times, when discovering a bat in our cat’s mouth, we thought he might have brought it in. And of course, there are those nights when our dog is growling at the wall in our bedroom. However, there were just a few too many cases of bats in our house. So… baseboards: Done.