Bat, Bites, and Bills

by kelly

I’m still trying to come to terms with just what the odds are, astronomically¬†speaking,¬†of the occurrence of¬†some bizarre events in¬†our house over the¬†weekend.¬†

Paul and I left town for one night.  It was our first out-of-town overnight away from Emma.  My mother stayed over to take care of her.

Nothing could possibly go wrong in less than 24 hours, of course!

I made a routine check-in call to my mother from the hotel in the morning of our¬†weekend getaway.¬† Mom said that she had “had quite an adventure” the night before.

“Oh, Emma didn’t want to go to bed?” I asked, innocently.

“No,” she replied.¬† “There is a bat in the house!”

My jaw dropped.  We have never had a bat our house before. 


The events (and related, impending bills) are not yet far enough in the past that I’m able to spin¬†this one for humor.

The short version is that during a middle-of-the night check on Emma (in her room), my mother saw something swooping by.  

She turned the light on and saw the bat.

She screamed.  Emma shrieked at her scream.  (This pattern was repeated several times as the bat fluttered and echolocated around the room and into the hallway).  

Mom and Emma spent the rest of the night in another room with the door closed.   

Before we arrived home, things devolved from the novel to the unfortunate.

At my urging, my mother recruited the friendly upstairs tenant to help catch the bat, which was, by day, sleeping on the side of the kitchen cabinet.

During the course of the otherwise successful capture, the bat turned its head and bit our tenant on his fingertip.

Upon hearing that news (in Chicago), the first thing to flash through my mind was my homeowners insurance policy, followed quickly by other thoughts, which, of course, included great concern for the tenant.

A¬†representative of the Health Department¬†recommended that the tenant get the rabies vaccine right away.¬† She also read from¬†guidelines recommending that Emma and my mother should also get the shots, because the bat was in the house while they were sleeping, so we can’t know if they might have been bitten.

Because a Texas boy bitten by a bat during sleep died recently, and because of a well-known case of bat-related rabies in our state, the officials and medical professionals are all taking this very seriously.     

My mother got the first of her two shots the ER on the afternoon we arrived home, and I took Emma to the ER for her first (of five) shots, too.

Emma is scheduled for another shot on Tuesday.

The bat is being tested for rabies, and we’ll know its status on Wednesday.¬† If it has rabies, I’ll take Emma for the three additional shots over the next month.¬† The initial ER visit aside, I’ve made arrangements with¬†a reasonably lower priced (but still not that low) clinic for purposes of getting the rest of Emma’s shots.

But here’s the rub.¬† I told¬†my mother¬†to tell the tenant that¬†I would pay for his vaccine expenses.¬† It was the right thing to do, but I said it¬†before I thought through all the permutations of how much¬†that might cost if he has no health insurance.¬† ER visits aren’t¬†cheap, and he’s going to have to go five times!¬†to get the full vaccine series.

The good news is that everyone is being¬†cared for, and¬†there should be no health problems, even if the bat has rabies and bit everyone that¬†could.¬† And it’s all at zero cost to my mom, thanks to her insurance design.¬†

The bad news: in addition to the cost of Emma’s visits and shots, I may be¬†paying for five(!) of¬†ER visits for the tenant, who may or may not be insured.¬†¬†I cringe to think of how much that may¬†set me back.¬†¬†So much for our free trip weekend!

I’m still going to try submitting whatever it is as a claim on my homeowner’s policy.

Paul promised to check the attic soon to try and determine whether¬†any of the bat’s friends are up there.

I’m hoping this was a¬†one-time, freak occurrence.

Am feeling a bit more uneasy now, about that week away that we’re planning for later this year.¬†¬†¬†¬†

Oh, . . . BATS!!

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