The Pet Lady

Dear Pet Lady,

I am deeply distressed by the letter to the editor in the March 1 edition of the Weekly that states, “They’re kissing cousins to the rat, bat, and assorted other repugnant creatures.” A bat is a wondrous thing that eats insects and performs service to mankind. Think of the malaria in Seattle without bats, think of the itching and sleepless nights. Please, please clarify to your readers that bats are not repugnant but helpful creatures.

A bat fan (who has read the wonderful chapter on bats in The Moon by Whale Light)

Dear Batty,

The Pet Lady cannot be bothered with letters to the editor as she is inundated with Pet Letters, but she will allow as how she likes bats just fine, provided they are not in her bedroom in the middle of the night. It’s true, dear reader; in the Pet Girlhood she was awakened one night from girlish slumber in her yellow-wallpapered room by a strange flapping noise. Sitting up a bit, she became quickly aware of a Thing flying about and indeed, seeming to now recognize her presence, swooping down at her in its circumnavigations of the room’s airspace. The Pet Girl, contrary to her recurring nightmare in which she was unable to utter a word when in grave danger, screamed like a banshee for the Pet Father, who upon ascertaining the situation had the Pet Girl crawl out of the room to safety and produced a broom in record time. By opening the windows and brandishing said broom, the brave Pet Father was able to banish the visitor, who was, in fact, an errant bat. The Pet Lady remains somewhat traumatized, but not so much so that she cannot appreciate our friends the bats when they are in their rightful spots in the out-of-doors at dusk.

It is not generally held that ours is a malarial clime, but who knows how much that has to do with the work of the bats? The only thing worse than a bat menacing one in the night is the maddening whine of a circling mosquito that disappears the instant you switch on the light.

The Pet Lady shall plan to peruse the volume you recommend of an evening with a nice glass of port. How lovely to hear from the well-read.

The Pet Lady

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