(Too) Close Encounters

Recently, my family had some (mostly) unwelcome visitors to our house. It started with an unfamiliar chirp coming from the mud room. It was neither the smoke detector signaling us to change batteries nor a reminder from my washing machine to switch the load. Somehow a cicada had entered the house and was making a desperate call to try to escape. We thought that was a strange occurence; but little did we know this was only the beginning of our close encounters that night.

An hour later, we were eating dessert in the family room when something flew around the room and out again. At first I thought it was a bird; but when it came zooming back into the room at eye level, I realized it was a bat! I have not had such encounters with bats since my childhood. Even though I am a grown woman now and should be able to handle such an intrusion calmly, something triggered my inner child and sent me ducking to the floor and covering my face.http://www.clipartlord.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/bat1.png

While my husband searched for his fishing nets to chase the bat out, I remained paralyzed on the floor while visions of my own parents chasing bats came back to me. I remembered my sisters and I huddling together in the corner while my brave mom and dad tried to shoo the bat out. They would throw laundry baskets over their heads for protection and wield broomsticks to corral the bat and sweep it out of the house.

By the time my husband returned, I had thankfully regained my senses and was able to assist him by waving my net andĀ  chasing the bat into his net so he could release it outside. Needless to say, I was relieved to return to my bowl of ice cream after that stressful flashback. Unfortunately, our close encounters of the night were not finished.

Half an hour later, when we had calmed down and were heading to bed, we let the dogs out for their final run of the night. That is when disaster struck! Ebony had a face-on encounter with a skunk! Ebony is 12 1/2 years old and she had never had such a terrible experience. She didn’t know what hit her straight in the face!





Obviously, instead of going to bed, we had to deal with the situation. This time, I jumped right into action while my teenage children had the privilege of fleeing to the relative safety of their bedrooms- although the smell was so potent that it wouldn’t be long before it infiltrated the house.

If you have ever experienced such a stinky encounter, you probably know all the myths and home remedies. We tried everything: tomato juice, hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda, shampoo, candles, Febreze and Lysol- for about an hour. Then, exhausted, we crawled into bed after laying down extra blankets and towels so Ebony, who was so bewildered she needed to sleep with us, wouldn’t bleed the oils into our bedding.

It had been an increasingly stressful and disastrous night of (too ) close encounters. They say bad luck comes in threes, so I am hoping this means we have this one behind us.

*Note: By the time I got around to posting this story, almost two weeks have passed. There have been no more close encounters, thankfully. But Ebony still has a very strong presence when she is in the room. At least it has reached the level of tolerance. It has definitely been a demonstration of unconditional love for our pets.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 10:38:58

    I think I would have felt like hiding until that cloud left! The good news is you have a story to share.



  2. Donna Jonas
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 11:05:04

    Laura….beautiful piece of writing.
    You had me with you …all my senses were involved!!
    Of course it triggered experiences of “other times” for me.
    I shared those in an earlier email sent following that night !

    Good for you…keep writing




  3. Susan
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 19:17:54

    My brother-in-law once had skunks living under his house. That was a nightmare and took months to solve, so now I don’t even like reading about skunk encounters!



  4. suzicate
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 19:33:04

    Oh my, you’ve had quite a time! I thought the bat was bad enough, but the skunk, poor Ebony!



  5. Trackback: Is History Reliable? | themiddlegeneration

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