I had this whole post planned, explaining about the latest problem with Those Damned Selbuvotter Mittens. (I blocked them and everything, and THEN I discovered that I had dropped a stitch on the thumb.)
But then all my worries were interrupted by RABIES. That’s right: rabies.
When you live in the country, you learn about stuff like rabies. It’s not as big a problem now as it was in the 50s and 60s, when a major public health campaign put the fear of god into a lot of people. But it’s still a thing.
What you want to watch out for, when you can, is animals behaving in an unusual or erratic fashion. This means learning how animals usually behave, and a lot of people make bad calls on that basis.
Normal: A bat fluttering around at dusk, dawn, or after dark.
Normal: A bat fluttering around briefly during the day, but quickly finding a roost. (Sometimes they get spooked out of their usual homes, but they rarely fly around for long before hiding. Like that little dude I rescued a few years ago.)
Normal: A coyote active during the day. Coyotes are diurnal (daytime) animals by nature. It’s only in contact with humans that they have switched to nocturnal life, to avoid us. If a coyote trots through your yard it’s not (as my next-but-one neighbors believe) cause to grab your rifle.
Abnormal: A coyote staggering, standing, lying around, or otherwise moving awkwardly during the day.
Abnormal: A bat flying and flying and flying and flying during the day.
That last one? That’s what I’ve got. It’s been flying around and around for about two hours now, in the middle of the day. So not good.
I called the county health department’s rabies hotline, and the nice lady said it will be dead within a few days. If you find it dead, double-bag it and put it in the trash or bury it where the dogs can’t dig it up. And, you know, try not to step on it or anything.
It spends a lot of time swooping around the area outside the window on the west side of my home. The one I’m sitting at right now. Eek, there it goes!
Unfortunately I can’t just stay indoors for the next few days. I have to foray out to the chickens at least twice a day, and I’m dog-sitting next door, and also I have a dental appointment tomorrow afternoon to get this giant cavity filled. (At least I get to take some Xanax for that. Hopefully it’ll take the edge off this rabies terror, too.)
Life in the country: not always all it’s cracked up to be.