Everyone has an unforgettable holiday tale to share, and we are no exception. For years, we had use of a rustic, oneroom cedar cabin in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. You know the type—drafty and creaky with a saggy sofa bed, an outhouse out back, and water buckets you had to haul uphill from the lake. No creature comforts, but the semi-desert scenery and peaceful setting made up for that lack. Certainly beat tenting!
June was always the best time to visit, before the oppressive heat of summer kicked in and school was let out. Unfortunately, June was also hatching time for larva wintering inside the walls and under the extensive baseball cap display hanging from the rafters. One night the cabin turned into a killing field when dozens of moths, the size of golf balls, hatched at the same time! Every night was a swatting contest with whatever happened to come our way. We were resigned to expect mosquitoes, moths and tiny mice, but not bats!
We had just turned out the lights and settled onto our creaky sofa bed for the night, when— Whoosh!—a puff of air blew past my face. My gut feeling told me this was no moth.
“Bats!” I shouted, reaching for the light.
Sure enough, a tiny brown bat was circling the room with dizzying speed. We each grabbed a fishing net from the wall, but only succeeded in knocking every- thing off the countertops. After several minutes, we were ready to give up. Then in a rare flash of inspiration I said, “Why don’t we just open the door and let him fly out?”
Earlier that same day, while out for a walk, a young cat had followed us home and was now camped out on our front porch. We had no doubt what was going through his mind with the bright light and yelling coming from inside the cabin—“party! Yeah!”
The cat needed no invitation and darted right in. He caught sight of the bat and the chase was on. He leaped to the table, onto the bookcase and across the countertops, twisting and turning in all directions, trying to catch the bat. I was screeching and so was the bat. After five frantic minutes, the bat finally flew out the open door with the cat in hot pursuit. We thought that was the last we’d see of Mr. Bat!
Not so. The next night the bat visited us again, this time with less drama. The following morning we did a search of the cabin’s exterior to see where he was getting in, but turned up nothing. My eagle-eyed hubby later found the bat on the inside of the cabin, flattened between two upright corner pieces, blissfully asleep. We could now see where he had been entering every morning. After he left that night, we sealed up the crack with old newspapers. We were woken at daybreak by frantic scratching on the outside wall— it was our little “friend,” trying to get back in. Sorry, buddy, this room is taken!