Perspectives

Home to Roost – 19 Years With Bobby the Bat


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In 1998 when a large brown bat showed up in their bathroom window, Mimi Hart and Lester Marks could not have predicted the beginning of a 19-year friendship. And yet, every year, the bat, lovingly named Bobby, has loyally returned to that same window.

In a way, Bobby has become part of their family. When he visits, they talk to him. Mimi occasionally sings to him. Friends at their dinner parties make the journey upstairs to the bathroom window hoping to see Bobby the Bat. He often hangs out alone in the window but sometimes he’s joined by his bat friends. Lester recalls with mild horror the time when Bobby and six other bats hung out in the window for a day.

Bobby has gained notoriety over the years and now has quite a following. Mimi often posts photos and videos of him on Facebook to assure his adoring public that he has returned and all is right with the world.

We share some of those here for you to see.

Mimi has carefully documented Bobby’s comings and goings over the years in a detailed diary she calls The Bobby Report. With glee that comes across even on paper, she has heralded his every arrival. She has recorded visits by his girlfriends, sometimes more than one at a time. And when Bobby departs, she proclaims her love and begs him to return. And so far, Bobby has complied.

Recently, we visited the bathroom window to see Bobby in person. Mimi and Lester introduced him like proud parents. But we wondered. Could this really be the same bat, year after year? Or is this bathroom window just a favorite hangout for lots of bats?

To get some answers, we asked an expert at Ohio University, Dr. Joseph Johnson, who studies the lives of these small mammals. We won’t ruin the surprise by telling you what we learned. You’ll have to listen to the story to find out if this visiting bat has truly been “Bobby” for all these years. You’ll love what Dr. Johnson has to say.

Even though Bobby has returned every year, each departure makes Mimi and Lester wonder whether they’ll see him again. This time they are especially concerned. They will soon put their house on the market as they plan to move closer to town.

Listen as Mimi describes how they are approaching this change in their lives and in Bobby’s. It will warm your heart.

Many people fear bats and find them spooky, but not Mimi and Lester. They will always cherish the warm and enduring friendship they’ve had with this little adopted critter from the wild.