One more mystery solved…sort of.
The questions here are :”Where have the bats come from?” and “Where do the bats go when they’re not swooping around inside the house?” I mean, they’re not hanging from the drapery rods waiting for the sun to go down or anything, at least I haven’t spotted them, though given the state of my expertise in housekeeping, this would not be impossible( Like Phyllis Diller used to say about putting the dog that died in the freezer—“I’ve been BUSY.”).
At least one of these questions may have been answered, in a manner of speaking. See, I decided that since all of the weather forecasts were indicating that were we’re about to get some falling temperatures in our Fall, it was about time to change the furnace filter. This was not a problem, as I knew where it is located in the furnace set-up and had actually done it before. First, I had to determine what size filter we were talking about here but that was no problem, as it was printed on the end of the cardboard frame of the thing.
Zzzzip. Easy as pie(Really. I like making pie. I’m on tap for the Methodist luncheon during the Christmas Walk) I pulled it out—the filter, not a pie—and along with it came a petrified bat, perfectly preserved, as far as I could tell. How it got in there is beyond me…down a register maybe? Anyway, there it was. So I trotted down to the hardware to get a new filter—25×16—and went to install the thing. Before doing so, I thought that I’d look in the filter slot to make sure that there was no obstruction to deal with(since the filter was pretty dirty when I pulled it out and who knew what else might be in there). Flashlight at the ready, I got down to look.
Well, some earlier, way earlier, member of the order Chiroptera had apparently decided—or been forced—to take refuge in the same slot and been unable to find an escape route in time. There are little tiny bones and some dusty stuff that was, presumably, skin and fur and suchlike—perfect biology project. (My last legitimate opportunity in that regard was Christian Spaur’s Eagle Scout project but he’s a full-fledged guy now so…never mind. I did get rid of one older bat mummy for a Halloween knick-knack but this current one is much younger. Don’t know what to do with the bone pile still in the furnace. Wonder if the furnace guy has a vacuum that can swoosh that out of there? Any takers?)
Still not sure where the bats are all coming from but this discovery does shed light(not something that bats like)on where they go.
And then there was the case of the anxious Mamma Cat.
On Friday, the semi-resident Mamma Cat seemed sort of agitated about something. She had recently had a litter of kittens someplace; I could tell because her rather rotund figure had changed back to her usual svelte outline and she was eating more. Could not find any kittens anywhere, though I had tried to set a couple of accessible spots for her to stash them; no luck in my searches and no sounds of kittens. Figured that they had been done away with by some critter in the neighborhood or had been unable to thrive from the first. It happens. But she was still disturbed about something.
Coming back from a meeting, I put the car in the garage and started up the back steps, looked at the semi-covered cat bed in the corner of the stoop. Lo! And Behold! There were three sets of little kitten eyes looking out at me. Mamma was on the bottom step looking concerned…as well she might.
The kittens were cute—aren’t they all—dark, all of them, one with a light line right down the middle of its nose—looked like his face might come apart—and two of them were sort of a dark tiger-ish pattern with splashes of a sort of butterscotch-orange scattered around. Cute as all get out. They let me pet them without scratching or biting and Mamma just sort of paced. But I had to get ready and go to a football game.
So I went to the game—cold, wet, muddy, windy—the kittens would have been much more fun. About halfway through, it dawned on me that Mamma Cat had probably wanted me to take them somewhere safe, away from the aforementioned critters which might be lurking around at night. DUH! Sometimes it amazes me that I’m so dense; other times, it’s no big news. On the ride home I worried about it and when I finally got there, there was only one set of eyes looking out from the covered bed and no Mamma Cat to be seen. Not good. The scene lacked any evidence of death and destruction, so I hope that she simply moved the other two to someplace safe and warm. In the meantime, I have a CUTE little kitten in the half-bath who is looking forward to getting out and exploring the whole place, regardless of the three resident macho cats who are thinking—when they’re not hissing or growling—about playing with the new toy until it falls apart. The newcomer is drinking milk replacer from a saucer and seems pretty able to take care of itself. Did I mention that it’s CUTE?