Battiness, Ding-Bats and Bats in the Belfry
Worried checking in.
I'm sorry to have been absent so much of late. I've been very involved with family and am not through yet. My eldest, the Wild Child, has been undergoing a battery of tests (again), proposed surgery (again) and seeing numerous specialists (again) that requires transportation to various medical facilities all over this huge, sprawling city ( I HATE the traffic!), long waits and long drives to her residence in the country and back home in Houston. My services as chauffeur are required to transport a grandson back and forth from divorced mother and father for visits (more long drives). Daughter Jeannie elected to move from Nassau Bay to Dayton at Jo's farmette where she will live for a time with her brother who takes care of the farmette while Jo and Lloyd are working overseas. Sorting and packing her belongings to go to storage and to bring to the farmette was a three ring circus. But not a fun time. Son Terry is having extensive oral surgery that is not a fun time for him and I am called upon to spend time at the farmette to aid in his diet preparations (limited) and run errands. Grand daughter Patsy is scheduled for surgery and wants me to be there for aid and comfort and to run her household and children while she is incapacitated.
The aid of friends and neighbors was required to move Jeannie. I am not physically able to do much but drive the moving van and the minivan. Jeannie is strong but petite, suffers from severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, has nerve and tendon damage to her left arm from an old injury and is thus somewhat handicapped. It is amazing how much stuff women can accumulate in a two bedroom apartment, how many boxes it takes to pack it and how many loads to move it. The move was complicated by the fact that the elevator died and EVERYTHING had to be hauled down three flights of stairs (6 half flights) to the vans in the parking lot. Two loads to the storage facility via the moving van and 4 loads in the minivan for the 100 mile round trip to the farmette was a hassle and used a terrific amount of gasoline and $$$. Not to mention the fact that Crazy David and teener Jason, who were supposed to follow me, got lost and required a considerable time re-establishing contact.
Aid from friends and her neighbors was a mixed blessing. Manual labor was absolutely essential but there was a price to pay. The main source of muscle and hauling labor was a friend from the old neighborhood whom we had known since his and Jeannie's teeny bopper days. A good friend that we love dearly but who drives us batty; his nickname of "Crazy David" is apt and well earned and he tends to make everyone around him crazy too. Another major source of help was the Paralegal down the hall who is a charming woman and who has been very good to Jeannie. However, she is a flaming alcoholic (after work) who, when in her cups, exhibits 1). a passionate crush on Crazy David and an aggressively burning desire to seduce him (David resists equally passionately), and 2). a tendency to become hostile at the drop of a hat, especially towards her teen aged son. Said teen aged son, an amiable soul to all others, reacts to his mother's hostility with extremely angry resentment and loud rebellion. Dealing with these ding-bat characters during the exhaustive labor and stress of moving made us a little crazy and batty too. Add to the mix Jeannie's 4 hysterical cats and a hyperactive pit bull dog, all of which were somewhat crazy also from the turmoil and disruption of their home. I iterate: it was not a fun time. My patience wore thin and Jeannie suffered repeated anxiety/panic attacks.
After the hullaballoo of moving was completed, I brought the Wild Child to my home in Houston to spend a few days. Her liver specialist said if she was still alive after the current prescribed treatments, she was to return to him in 6 months and perhaps then undergo the chemo therapy (different poison than that administered to cancer patients, but chemical poison nevertheless). She lives alone in the piney woods outside Houston. Being alone, depressed, seriously ill with the Sword of Damocles hanging over her head is not good for her so from time to time I bring her to spend time with me. Here we share movies, play on the computer and blog. I have helped her to start blogs of her own, which she is enjoying immensely. It is very uplifting to her morale. (Later, when she gets her blogs going, I will publish her urls and would appreciate anyone commenting on them. Yellow Rose found one on search and commented; Wild Child was ecstatic.)
My cat Sheba is a very quiet, well behaved cat who rarely meows. She will politely offer a few of her low calls to alert me that her food and water bowls need attention or that she desires a treat. She will not insist but wait patiently for me to comply. One night she began meowing insistently and following me around, quite out of character for her. Her unusual behavior puzzled me and the Wild Child. I'd meow back at her and she'd meow even more insistently. I noted that she kept returning to some storage boxes I had piled to return to storage. I put her on top of one, thinking she might want to investigate. She is very curious about anything out of the ordinary in my apartment. Once atop the boxes, she kept looking up and I realized that she had not been looking up at the boxes but at the ceiling.
For crying out loud! There on my ceiling was a small brown bat! My bedroom window does not have a screen but I had opened it a few inches to get fresh air and apparently the little creature had entered that way. The cat had smelled it or seen it and was meowing about it. It clung horizonally to the ceiling, very still, although it turned its little head to watch me. I exclaimed and went to get the broom to knock it down. I feared it might be diseased. Bats have rabies sometimes. I was loath to kill it but having no means for capture and release and fearing rabies, I thought killing the only option.
The Wild Child's incision line from her colon cancer surgery has herniated and causes her a great deal of pain and difficulty in arising from a seated position. However, when I exclaimed something about a bat and headed for the broom closet, she howled "Mother-f***er!!" and leaped up from the love seat with alacrity I had not thought possible. She began an agitated jittering, cussing and begging me, "No, Mommy, NO!"
I am aware that my daughters do not share my equanimity when dealing with nature's creatures, but even so I was surprised at her terror and distress. I was even more surprised when she darted from the apartment in her nighty, not even bothering to put on a robe, and fled to the elevators. She shocked and astounded our Security officer by screaming at him, "Do you have a gun? Come shoot it! Come shoot it!" The Security guard had no idea what she wanted him to shoot but advised, "Lady, I can't be shooting in this building." Learning of the cause for her hysteria, he went to the apartment of our in-residence Night Manager and alerted him.
The two men came to my apartment, the Night Manager armed with a towel and Wild Child fairly dancing in panic in the hallway screaming at me to come out.. The Night Manager is over 6' tall with arms like an orangutan so he simply reached up to pluck the bat from the ceiling with the towel. The men departed bearing the towel wrapped bat, chuckling about "Womens!" and Wild Child cautiously returned to the apartment where she lavished praise upon Sheba the Cat for her heroic diligence in noting an intruder. The family was regaled the next day with a horror story of the terrible creature invading our home. Wild Child wrote a note of appreciation to the Night Manager for "saving our lives". All over a tiny little bat.
The battiness of the humans I had dealt with during Jeannie's moving ordeal was far worse (to me) than the poor little flying mammal. People, including Wild Child's hysteria, drive me battier than animals do.
Labels: Bats and Ding Bats