In early 2014, I had an…let’s call it an incident with a bat in my home. Afterwards, I wrote up an explanation of the story and posted it on Facebook. As it seems to be a favorite, I’m reposting it here for all eternity….
January 28, 2014:
Despite years of training to be a strong girl at White Tiger, tonight, I epically failed. There was much not-strong-girl screaming involved.
Here’s what happened. I was sitting in my room, watching SVU while surfing the internet for Remus Lupin fanart. The SVU episode was one I hadn’t seen for a while and I was trying to remember what happened next when Elliot was pushed off a roof by the perp. My attention was suddenly directed 100% at the television. Now, my television is right beside the door to my bedroom. As I’m watching to see what happens next, I notice Cyana running back and forth in front of the door to my bedroom. Now, let’s be completely honest – this cat does not run like that these days unless a can of food is being opened. Wondering what’s going on, I start watching the door and I notice something floating past my door in the air right before Cyana runs past it each time. Hmm. That’s odd. As I continue to watch, I realize the floating something is sort of big. At first, I think “moth?” and then realize it’s too big for a moth.
And that’s when I realized I had a bat in my house.
I responded by immediately locking myself in my bedroom.
Now, for those of you who aren’t in North Carolina, right now we’re having a “snow storm.” Thus far, the roads are wet. Nonetheless, the fact that something white is coming from the sky means the state is in full out terror mode. Everything has closed. Even Wendy’s closed. There is no question that, if I called animal control, I would have been blown off. If I’m not calling about snow, North Carolina doesn’t want to hear from me.
Unsure what to do, I called Jane, who usually has good ideas on how to solve grown up problems. Jane suggests that I try to hit the bat with a towel. Okay. I tell myself. I might be able to do this. First, I have to get dressed, since I was in my pajamas and I’m not going to fight a bat in pajamas. I put on the hooded sweatshirt I wore to gymnastics last night, a pair of sweatpants I found on the floor, and socks. Next, I cracked open my door. Didn’t see the bat. For a moment, I thought I might have imagined it, until I realized Cyana had just chased it into the living room.
So that the bat couldn’t get into any of the other rooms, I shut the doors to the spare bedrooms and guest bath. Then I found my gloves, put on my snow boots (no, I don’t know why I thought that was appropriate footware for bat fighting), and grabbed the orange beach towel that had been on the back of the door in the guest bath. I slunk down to the kitchen and peeked into the living room. The bat was still flying around in a circle while Cyana watched it. I ducked back behind the china cabinet and wanted to cry. Unfortunately, crying wouldn’t make the bat go away. I tightened my hood so only my eyes were visible, opened the front door, and started swatting at the bat. In my mind, my plan was to try to trick it into flying out the door. This plan failed. Instead, the bat kept flying around. Every time it came near me, I started to scream and thrash about with the towel.
And then the towel hit the bat. The bat skidded under one of my chairs. I held my breath and watched. The bat didn’t move. I moved closer, and the bat suddenly sprung up and started flying again. Cue another round of hysterical screaming and swatting with the towel. Finally, I made contact between towel and bat and knocked the bat on the floor again. The bat didn’t move so I grabbed a clear, plastic bucket and inched closer. When the bat continued not to move, I dropped the bucket over it. Now, I had a trapped bat, but I had no idea how to get it out of my house. While I thought the bat was dead, there was a chance it wasn’t, and I didn’t want to have it flying around my house again.
I went downstairs and got the cat food box. Once the cat food box was empty, I cut it open and laid it flat. Returning to the living room, I began to slowly ease the flattened box under the bucket. As I did, the bat – which was not dead – started flying around the bucket and flapping against the sides. Unsure of what to do, I put a fan on the box so the bat couldn’t knock the bucket over. I then finished getting the cardboard under the bucket. Because the cardboard was bendy, I was worried that it wouldn’t stay in place with the live bat flapping around, so I found a plastic lid for one of those big storage boxes and then eased the cardboard-bat-bucket combo onto the lid.
Pinching the lid and bucket together, I carried the whole combination outside, shut my house door, and then carried the combination to the far side of the driveway. I pulled the top off, turned, and ran back to the house. The bat did not follow me. I’ll get the lid back tomorrow.