Our fireplace has had a giant piece of cardboard over it the last few months. It’s not very decorative as you can imagine but it was very necessary to allow me to sleep at night.
Why? Well, because a month or so ago, it was raining cats and dogs and hamsters and parakeets outside, and my partner B and I were inside reading peacefully. I heard a noise coming from the chimney. So I looked up from my book, B looked up too, and then Pumpkin started strolling towards the chimney when…
THE BIGGEST BAT I HAVE EVER SEEN IN REAL LIFE CAME FLAPPING OUT OF THE CHIMNEY!
Its wings “whooshed,” like a dragon, when it flew — it was that big.
Now, I like to think of myself as kind of a tough girl, but this was not one of my finer moments. I basically took one look at that bat and said, “Nope.” And left B to deal with it on his own, as I made myself into the smallest ball possible and put a blanket over my head.
B opened the windows and tried to shoo it out, first with my skirt and then with a laundry basket. Finally it left.
(Note: Don’t worry about rabies. No one touched the bat. The bat touched no one. It wasn’t bleeding. It didn’t get any bat juice into any open wounds. All of our pets have their shots. Like maybe the laundry basket has rabies, but, except for a slight foaming in one of the corners, it seems fine.)
So I put a giant piece of cardboard over the fireplace, and left it like that. And I was not ashamed. However… it didn’t go with the cottage feel that I am trying to achieve with our home decor. So I started shopping around for something else.
Our fireplace is very large, so a lot of the grates and screens that would cover it were over $200! I started to look for alternatives online — old shutters, old windows, and other things like that, popped up from time to time. I almost bought a huge metal thingy for it from a store, but I am glad I didn’t buy it! Because the next day I had a flash of inspiration…
Do you ever have an idea so great that you can’t even handle yourself until you make it happen? This was one of those ideas for me. I was looking outside during lunch and saw this:
This lovely piece of architecture is a neighborhood dog’s — poor Zoe, our neighborhood Ambassethound — old pen. It has seen better days. I saw it and grabbed my measuring tape and ran outside because:
Ta da! Rustic gate to fireplace screen for $0. And it’s totally bat-proof. Isn’t it lovely? It’s got the perfect old wood patina and little rusty bits and it was the perfect size! It looked so good that I made a new wreath. I loooooove it.
Here are your DIY instructions:
1. Build a dog pen….but not very well
2. Leave it for about four years
3. Harvest the gate.
4. Don’t get tetanus.
What are some creative-yet-aesthetically-pleasing ways you’re keeping bats out of YOUR home?