Pittsburgh’s turn as Gotham just happened to coincide with an outbreak of rabid bats in the county. I know, because my home was host to part of the outbreak.
Thanks to my own rabid urges to consume as much information as I can on a daily basis, I saw an advisory from the Allegheny County Health Department publicizing a recent outbreak of rabies in the local bat population. The press release also listed steps for trapping bats found in homes and how to submit them for testing. I saw the advisory, but thought nothing of it – I actually deleted the message. Little did I know that later that very evening, my husband and I would find a rabid bat in our home.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did a nice job of summing up the story, but I want to emphasize the fact that our two cats, Lucius and Lunette, and our Papillon, Louis, were saved by the fact that they were all up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Even though Lucius and Lunette are indoor cats, I never once considered not having them vaccinated. I have no children; my pets are my kids. I would have been devastated if any one of them would have had to have been euthanized due to a fully preventable cause. Rabies shots save lives.
As for lasting effects, Lucius is quarantined for 90 days, which will put a damper on our annual Halloween festivities – I dress up as a witch and allow Lucius, a black cat, to be out on the porch with me on his harness while I give out candy to the kids. They always get a kick out of seeing that he’s “a real black cat” and not a stuffed one I put out for show. So they’ll miss out this year, but it will be for the best.
We may never get to the bottom of the great 2011 Allegheny County bat outbreak, but my money’s on the rabid Christian Bale fans. Those people are just plain nuts.