Thursday, May 27, 2010
I wish I had some more photos to go along with this one, but 4 a.m. shots aren't my specialty, so you'll just have to read along.
On Saturday night, I woke up to Paul standing in front of our bathroom door (which connects to our bedroom). There's a bat in the shower, he tells me. Groggy me first thinks, "What!?!?" Then tells him, "Can't you just shut the door and leave it there until morning?"
He tells me no, he can't, and I believe I doze back off, thinking this must be a dream or something. The next time I wake up, he's asking me to please open the bathroom door, because he's holding a tupperware container with the bat in it. I do, and then scurry back to bed. And my animal-lover of a husband (it's really one of his endearing qualities!), releases the bat in the yard.
The next morning, I hassle him a bit about using one of our good containers to capture the bat. He admits he also used a plastic cutting board, and that he thinks the bat was flying around in our room before it settled in the bathroom shower. Gross, I think, but not much more. Then I head out for my Sunday morning running group.
While we're jogging along, a fellow runner mentions she found a bat in her house once and had to get rabies shots. "Strange," I think. When I get home, I google "rabies" and "Ithaca." To my surprise, I find this: Springtime Means Rabies in New York State, which includes the following passages.
Anyone who is bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of an animal with rabies is at risk for contracting this fatal virus. While there is a very effective vaccine for rabies, it must be administered before any symptoms of the disease appear. Once human beings develop symptoms of rabies, they face certain death.
Call the Health Department immediately for any contact with bats, even if a bat is found in the home without having definitely bitten someone.
We call, and we learn we need the shots just in case - four rounds in all. This results in a three-hour visit to the emergency room, where we are the least sick people in the whole joint, and several field trips to the local health department. The good news is, no one has ever contracted rabies after getting the shots. So this is a pretty good insurance policy. Three cheers for modern medicine! I'm looking at it as a family bonding experience. All thanks to a bat.
P.S. Lest we look like deliquints, I should tell you we also did a careful inspection of our house and found a rip in A's window screen. (All the better that we're all getting the shots.) There is a temporary patch on it at the moment, and it will be permanently fixed next week.
P.P.S. A is handling all of this like a champ. For the first round, he cried until he saw he was getting TWO Band-Aids on his legs, then he laughed. The second round involved no crying at all, and a very special zebra-print Band-Aid.