of bats and mice

Been sleeping poorly all week. Jaw totally tense, despite genuinely good news at work and genuinely gorgeous weather, if a little prematurely autumnal. Long-anticipated visit by friends this weekend, I’m doing my morning pages, and I’ve started working out again (man, the threshold pains are a bear). But despite all these good things, I’ve been waking before 6, my jaw sore and my mind racing.

Earlier in the week, we had two appearances in our bedroom of a very lost and bewildered bat. Both times it showed up around midnight, when the rest of the house was dark and still, and both times it orbitted the room a couple of times until I shooed it out the door and told it to find its way back outside before the cats got to it. (Normally I’d do a catch-and-release with a butterfly net, but we’ve been unable to find one, yet.) Kate was home for the first appearance and immediately started worrying about it drooling rabies-laden saliva into our mouths while we sleep. I maintained that bats are lousy french-kissers and unlikely to try, and then segued from rabid animals to the fact that Kate’s never seen Old Yeller , and then we stayed up talking about movies. The bat, probably sick of cinematic talk, hasn’t shown up since; I hope it found its way home.

All of which is to say that when Kate jostled me awake in the middle of the night last night having heard the distinctive scamperings and swattings of a cat with actual prey in its sights, my first thought after pulling out my earplugs was, “crap, the stupid bat didn’t find its way home.” Fortunately, it just turned out to be a normal house mouse, thoroughly dead. Carlos, true to form, had just deposited it in his food bowl when I stumbled into the kitchen. The mouse got a quick trip to our burial grounds off the back porch, Carlos got some bleary praise and some catnip, and I tottered back to bed at 5, sleep-debt accumulating interest like our budget deficit.

Thank god for strong tea.