Thursday, September 18, 2008


4:58 p.m. — A Market Street caller told police a sick bat flew into a store and was "flopping around on the floor." The bat was gone when police arrived. (Portsmouth Police Log, September 15th)

Background: I recently moved to a new apartment with a bonus attic studio space. I am thrilled to have the extra space to paint in, however, for the first few weeks I had to share the space with a little brown bat. We finally figured out where the little guy was getting in and out and sealed the hole (so I like to think he found a new warm dry dark home to sleep in throughout his days).

I couldn't believe it when yet another bat flew into my life, rather, flew into the gallery - right thru the front door!

A Long Story: It was around 5:15 pm when a woman standing out on the sidewalk outside the gallery was pointing in and telling me "you have a bat in there". What!?

Sure enough, I turned around to see a little brown bat on the floor in front of my desk. The bat tried to fly, but quickly fell back onto the floor. His second attempt failed as he flew into a pedestal and fell back onto the floor. He crawled on his elbows (?) into the dark corner.

I was paralyzed with fear. I know they are wonderful creatures, but I admit they scare me, ALOT. Also, this little bat did no seem "right". My purse (containing my cell phone) was still on my desk, 10 feet and the little bat separated me from it. The kind passer-by who had sited the bat was kind enough to stand guard while I ran off to my neighbors, Macroscopic/MacroPolo. We put our heads together and first tried calling animal rescue - closed...animal control - closed. Finally we tried the police department, who at first said that they could not come because of a bat, "sorry, but you're on your own", I told the dispatcher that the bat looked sick, and she said she would send an officer down.

A few minutes later, a handsome young officer came to my rescue, rather, he seemed as afraid as me and took a quick look thru the gallery with no findings. He did rescue my purse containing my cell phone. (Thank you for that!) He suggested I close the gallery and call animal control in the morning.

I didn't like that idea. Thankfully, Amity (of the Odd Showroom) and her boyfriend Josh were walking by. I told them of the bat and they marched right in - no fear! Amity quickly spotted the little guy clutching to the back of a pedestal up against the brick wall. They acted quickly, she brought back a small tupperware container and Josh gently cupped the container over the little bat then slid a postcard beneath, trapping the bat inside. He was soooo cute.

We then decided we should free him, so we walked him down to the gardens of the Moffat Ladd House right up the street - at this point we also decided he probably wasn't sick, but sleepy, dazed and confused.

I still can't believe how many encounters with bats I have had as of late...

...more bats - on display in the Teeny Tiny Art Show#3 - encaustic/bat transfers by Dorothy Imagire. ( I am going to purchase one as a gift for Amity and Josh for coming to my aid!)