Saturday, July 30, 2016


I don't often write about my personal feelings; but today I actually feel bad - guilty.   

A few days ago a bat came down our chimney and ended up in the wood stove.   The cats were delighted with Bat TV.  

The last time this happened I put on a heavy pair of gloves, carefully opened the door to the wood stove, and the bat came charging out.   My wife was terrified, the cat went into a hunting mode and I was finally able to grab the bat when it lit in the corner near the ceiling; so I took it outside and let it loose.

This time my wife was decisive: leave it alone.   She is possibly right, as bats along with skunks are the major carriers of rabies here in Maine.   

So the bat lasted three days.   It's dead and I feel guilty.  I do eat meat, but I don't like personally killing an animal (though I was an aggressive hunter for most of my life.)  My agreement to leave the bat in the stove to die was cruel in my view - and I don't feel good about it.  

But, the cats did enjoy it.  They can't figure out why the show is over. 

the Ol'Buzzard


  1. We occasionally had a bat in the house we had in Omaha. They would get into the attic and come down the stairway. The house at one time had wall to wall carpeting and the doors had been cut on the bottom to clear the carpet. There was a big enough gap for the bats to get under the door and into the house. After a couple times I put a sweep type weatherstrip on the bottom of the door while trying to figure out where they were getting into the attic. I think they were getting in under the roof flashing next to the dormer for the stairway. After I plugged it with spray foam the problem seemed to end.

    They would hang from the rafters and there would be droppings on the attic floor. After I plugged the gaps under the flashing from inside, that stopped.

  2. I'd feel bad too but the potential for rabies is nothing to eff around with.

  3. I hear you. I can easily kill anything to put it out of its misery. I could have been the doctor with the horse pistol after the Battle of Atlanta (or any battle). Nothing and no one should have to suffer needlessly.

  4. Definitely a good idea to be cautious around bats. When I worked at the CDC, I wrote a podcast script about the rabies vaccine -- they were changing the guidelines regarding how many injections and the podcast was to explain why. The rabies expert told me about several fatal cases he'd dealt with. In every case, the person had been bitten by a bat, and also in every case the bites were so small, so seemingly minor, that the bite victims didn't take them seriously. It's a horrible way to die.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."