April 24, 2012

The Bat Wrassling Story

When I bought my very first house in the small, rural town, I had been told that the area was rich with bats. Big, gorgeous trees are their favorite places to live - and those we had plenty of. And so I enlisted the help of a local bat abatement organization to ensure that my 105-year old residence would be clean and bat-free before we ever moved in. I mean, EWWW. [And yes, there were bats there when I looked at the empty house. Just two: one in the living room curtain and one in the basement, clinging to the cinder block wall.] After I was completely wigged out, I hired the little, old, bat-abatement dude. Batman and his company folks climbed the very high roof on my house and blocked every entrance they could get in. The attic was cleaned and sealed up. Every board, every crack, inside and out - sealed. And so it was for a year that I had absolutely no problems at all whatsoever. 

Until the day I listed my house for sale.

It was early in the morning. I'd showered and started my morning routine. Naked because... why not? The kids were all still sleeping and it was dark outside. I opened the bathroom door and steam rolled out into the dim hallway, where Kiki was sitting and watching the way she does every morning before work. After a few minutes I heard my alarm going off again. This was confusing because I was awake and standing naked in the bathroom; I'd turned it off already. As I walked across the hall to the bedroom to make sure the alarm was off, I noticed Kiki sprawled on the floor. With something black flapping against her face. I quickly flipped the lightswitch on and realized it wasn't an alarm I was hearing; it was a bat chirping because it was stuck in the cat's teeth!

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

I wasn't sure what to do but I knew the cat couldn't eat the bat without getting rabies and me barfing on her head. "Kiki, drop it!" Again, People: naked and pointing at the cat. I took the towel off of my hair and slapped the both of them. The bat began flying through the hallway and I learned something right then: bats are stupid. They make the same flight pattern over and over and over and over again. The cat would leap every time the bat flew over her head. It was still chirping. And me, naked.

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP [ouch the freaking cat tried to eat me] CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP **KIKI JUMP!** CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

I timed the bat and swung the towel again. This time, the bat landed right in front of the cat with its gross and pokey claws stuck in the carpet. Aha! Stuck! The cat glared at him and watched me, ever curious. I threw the towel down on top of the bat to hold him there. He wasn't very big after all. Then I ran around trying to find something to hit him with. Knocking him out was the only thing I could think of because I sure as shit wasn't going to pick him up and politely carry him outside when he was wriggling around and trying to eat me.

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

I mean, I might have jerked and hopped and jumped and gagged a little. Maybe.

I flipped on every light I passed and a variety of large material objects went through my mind: fire extinguisher (too big), book (too flat), hair dryer (not big enough), frying pan (eww, I have to cook with it after!), SHOE. Not the worst thing. Of course in my panic I picked up the smallest, daintiest flat ever. I went back into the hallway where the cat was guarding the moving towel lump.

Slowly, I reached for the towel. I shuddered and gagged. I pulled the towel off of the bat, half expecting the sucker to start flying in his stupid pattern again. But his claws were still stuck in the carpet and he was getting pissed. You think you're pissed now, Buddy, just wait til I start this! [wrenching his furry head and pointy teeth and beady eyes to look at me].

I gripped the dainty, yellow flat in my right hand (size 10 suddenly seemed so small), kneeled down (but not too close), gagged and flapped a little, and in one quick motion, shut my eyes and slapped the bat with my shoe. When I felt it hit him, I was overcome with yuckiness.

He did not die.

He did not faint.

He also did not shut up.

He DID become even more pissed and more stuck. I think he leaked a little guano on my carpet.

With each FWACK! of the shoe he made a loud squeak toy-noise. And immediately upon him making this noise, I screamed and flapped and flailed and gagged.

Naked, People. With the cat just standing back to watch.

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY * SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

After a few rounds with the shoe, my oldest son (who was almost 10 at the time) opened his bedroom door a crack. Only one eye peeked out of the crack. "I heard you screaming, Mom... are you ok-AAAAAAHHHHH!!!! THERE'S A BAT, MOM!"

I stopped with my naked self, wet hair all over everyplace, all red and snot and flapping and gagging and holding the freaking yellow shoe and paused. I said, "Really, Son? Where is it?"

He closed the door.

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY * SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

The sucker would NOT shut up. He just shook his head between hits, and took some more.
He would not faint.

He would not die.

I tried to hit him harder each time, I really did.

I was the weakest thing on this planet and in the face of a little bitty furry flapping chirping creature, I was useless.

And the cat? Can we just address the fact that the cat didn't do jack shit during this?
By this point I was certain I was going to be late for work [oh well, I'll have a hell of a story, I thought]. The cat still sat and I was still naked. I decided to trap the bat instead. I mean the current plan to save the day was not working out so hot.

I retrieved the garbage can from the bathroom. I chucked the contents onto the floor and almost slipped to my death on an empty tampon tube. Jeesh, because THAT would be humilating.

I turned the garbage can on top of the bat. His tiny little claws were spread so wide that his knuckles were stuck under the rim. Then to be absolutely certain he wasn't going to go anywhere, I stacked a basket of folded laundry on top of the garbage can. I said a few curse words to the thing, and picked up my phone.

Oh yes, I am here to tell you that chivalry is not dead. I called Bryon and sputtered out a cluster of words that sounded ridiculous, some knot of DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP *FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY * SCREAMING and he promised that he would come over and take him outside later for me.

I could finally breathe again. And got dressed.

On my way to work I called my real estate agent. We confirmed where the key would be hidden, what he was going to take pictures of, and what would go into the official description of my home.

"One more thing," I said before hanging up. "Don't move the laundry basket at the top of the steps in the hallway." John, the realtor was puzzled. "Yeah, there's a bat under there. He came to visit this morning. Probably shouldn't take pictures of that in the hallway either," I offered. Good thing John's got a sense of humor. Also a good thing that he didn't tip the basket or mention that to the buyer when he sold my house FIVE DAYS LATER.

I could end my story here, Folks. Except that would be leaving out the part where Bryon came home with me that afternoon to rescue me from the nasty little bat. He was very certain that a simple piece of cardboard slid under the trashcan would do the job, trapping the bat inside and covering the top while he carried it outside to set it free.
Except he hadn't listened when I explained that his tiny, little, stuck claws were spread so wide that his knuckles were right under the rim. Or how pissed off he had been.Oh no. Homeboy had a plan. And he's the man and so I let him have the plan. I found a piece of cardbard and we crept up the steps.

No chirping.

There was Kiki, guarding the contraption and looking very put-out.

We took the basket of folded laundry off of the trash can. Still no chirping. I wondered if he died after all that fwacking in the head. I felt a little bad about that.

Bryon gave me a flick of his eyebrows and slid the cardboard beneath the rim of the trash can, all stealth-like and cool. Except it didn't slide so easily. It hit the bat in the [very sore] head and woke the sucker up. I mean, how would you like a big, fat papercut in the face after being beaten and trapped?

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

By now there was no choice, so Bryon shoved the cardboard and we heard the little claws scrape across the carpet and he started trying to fly under there, fluttering this stealthy cardboard. I imagine he was kind of mad about that, too. To reward my assult, there was batshit (guano) smeared all over the place.

I've never seen Bryon move so fast as when he jumped over the cat, flew down the steps and out the front door, across the porch, and outside with that trashcan and fluttering cardboard. I stayed back on the porch steps to watch the release. And yes, I realize that releasing a bat outside of the house he just got stuck in was NOT the smartest way to go, but I tell you again he's the man and so I let him have the plan.

He stopped at the sidewalk and in a very grand gesture, removed the cardboard covering the trash can's opening. Nothing happened. He shook the can and still, nothing happened.Dang, maybe he IS dead.

[This is the part of the story where my husband holds up his hand and interrupts me telling it, so that he can finish the story with his account of what happened after this point.]
After shaking the can a few more times, Bryon looked inside of it ever so cautiously. There was the tiny little bat, very scared and very pissed off, holding on tightly to (who knows what or how, it's a bat for pete's sake) the inside of the empty metal can. The bat stared at him with his beady little eyes, reared up, and leapt out of the can. Not dead!

In a re-enactment not unlike a great and fiercely large dragon, the bat unfolded his not-tiny-at-all wings and flapped away, off into the sky. I think his wingspan gets bigger each time this part of the story is told. Ahem.

"That was NOT a little bat, Rach. That thing was HUGE!" Bryon said to me from the sidewalk.

I was perplexed. Do I feel bad for my boyfriend who wrassled a big, huge bat for me? Or do I feel kind of bad-assed because I beat the ever loving shit out of a big, huge bat with a dainty yellow shoe? WHILE NAKED?

Yeah, I thought so.

1 comment:

  1. I'm about to puke from trying to keep from laughing outloud in cube hell! Bahahahahaha! I've had my own bat experiences and ya...creepy! Only I had on a tshirt, had a net, and a very long hallway was involved!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete