I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at our fish camp, fishing, canoeing, getting some crab for picking. Except, I walked into the house and reeled backwards. The smell that we’d worked so fervently to rid the house of had returned.
“I can’t stay in here, ” I cautioned my family. “I’m going outside.”
That’s exactly what I did. I helped install a screen that the dogs could open themselves to go in and out of the house. I watched the kids play with the neighbor’s grandson. We caught small crawfish and used them as bait for fishing. We pulled up the crab traps to discover that we hadn’t caught any for dinner. Under the dappled shade of the poplar tree, we let the world go by without a care.
“Did I show you the bat I found?” My son dragged me from the dock to the side of the house where a deceased flying mammal lay.
“Love,” I called to my husband, “that has to be the smell. We have bats.” I hesitated and stopped myself from saying “in our belfry.” One, we have no belfry, just a cathedral ceiling. Two, I don’t want any of you thinking that I’m crazy. I do live in New Orleans, and by that fact am automatically categorized of not in the right state of mind to so many in our country.
I happen to have a great love of bats since I know that they eat tons of insects, including disease carrying mosquitoes. If I had a favorite superhero, it would be the dark knight–Batman. Something about a wounded hero. Oh, right to the heart.
Except, I don’t want bats in my house clogging up my nasal passages. I am allergic to rodents, and while I know that bats aren’t rodents, I am, apparently, allergic to them and the smell that they produce as they slumber in the small attic space above the great room of the fish camp. Instead of a great family weekend, I am back in New Orleans alone. (The fact that I am breathing freely is the only bonus of this day. Well, and writing time. The laundry is a drag, though.)
I’m hoping to find an exterminator that works like Billy the Exterminator (warning, music plays at the link). Those guys don’t kill bats; they seal off the entry points after dusk so that the bats can find a new home–like the bat house attached to a tree in the woods adjacent to our human house.
All I know is that I will be the city girl, like my heroine in Basically Bad, until these bats have vacated my premises.