The Summer of the Rabies Shots


News of that vicious attack by a fox in East Windsor  brought back some unpleasant memories for Kara and me.    Five years ago this summer, we underwent a round of rabies shots after a “potentially rabid” animal was in our house.  Thankfully we weren’t bitten.

In the summer of ’07, Kara and I were living in a brownstone downtown with our daughter, who was then 6 months old.     A bat was spotted flying throughout the 19th century house one night and reappeared the next day, later left through a window.    Quote from Kara:  “I don’t think that’s a bird.”

Rabies is serious business.   Death by rabies is rare, and you must be vaccinated soon after exposure.   As a precaution,  our pediatrician recommended we get rabies shots…all three of us!     He told us bat bites are small, and can sometimes go undetected, and because the bat was long gone, we had no way of knowing if it was carrying rabies.    We heeded his advice and headed off to the UConn Health Center.

The number of shots a patient receives is based on weight.  I got six, Kara three and our daughter, two.     They weren’t as painful as I had read about, but hardly a walk in the park, either. Another warning: they are expensive. Insurance didn’t cover everything, and the bill was thousands of dollars.

The next week, another bat was found in the house, caught by our cat Mackinac (he had been vaccinated for rabies) who has long salivated over birds, squirrels and other prey through a window.   We awoke to a squealing sound, to find the cat holding down the bat with his paw, wings flapping like crazy.   He cornered another one later in the summer.   We captured both, and took them to the Department of Environmental Protection to be tested.     Both came back negative for rabies.  Whew.

By Halloween, memories of the bats and the shots were history, and we poked some fun at our adventure.

This past August, our new cat Angelo caught another bat, that we later brought to the state for testing.  It was negative for rabies.

also read about how our “indoor cat” caught a bird:

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