Wednesday, August 03, 2005


My heart is still pounding and I am wired on adrenaline. OMFG. I just had a really scary and totally surreal experience. I was sitting here doing mind-numbing MP3 organization and I started hearing a scratching noise. The other day, I heard a scratching noise that sounded like it was coming from part of the ceiling in my kitchen. I live in an old building divided into one unit per floor, and someone decided to put drop-down ceilings in every room, a la an office building or hospital. Maybe it's an effort to reduce noice, but it's ugly nonetheless. Anyway, the scratching worried me because the last thing I wanted was some rodent living in my kitchen ceiling.

So the scratching and rustling noises I heard just a bit ago.. I thought it was coming from the ceiling, but it didn't seem to be just one spot and I couldn't tell if it was just the upstairs neighbors making strange sounds. I kept hearing it and couldn't place it, so I turned my music off and listened for a while, but I couldn't figure out what it was.

All of a sudden there was a louder scratching noise off to the left and I reflexively turned my head to look. My attention was drawn to the air conditioner and I spent a moment looking at it, before I realized there was dark movement around the top edge. I don't keep my living room bright, so I couldn't make out what it was, but because it looked long, dark, and thin, for a moment I thought it was a piece of foam insulation that had come loose and was flapping in the breeze from the window unit.

Haha, how wrong I was.

As I continued to watch, whatever it was slowly pulled itself through the nearly non-existent crack between the top of the air conditioner and the window. I was paralyzed with horror as it pulled itself all the way through and rested a moment after its effort, before sort of tumbling down and landing on the exhaust grill on the front. All was quiet again as the dark lump hung on my window unit.

I was really and truly freaking out. As I mentioned, it's a little dark in here and from fifteen feet away, I couldn't make out what the thing was. I thought maybe it had wings, but couldn't be certain. Was it a huge bug, a bird, a mouse, a bat? Situations like this bring out the total girl in me and my first thought was, OHMYGOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT and then right after, WHO CAN I CALL TO DEAL WITH THIS OMG?! Sadly, I live alone and found myself having to face whatever the thing was.

I was flipping out and trying to figure out what the next step should be. I paced a little -- not much, and not near the thing so as to not disturb it -- my mind racing, scoping out anything I had handy to try to catch it and put it back outside. First I had to know what it was I was dealing with, so, heart pounding, I grabbed my mini Maglite from my desk and shone it on the thing, revealing it to be a BAT. OMG, okay, a bat.. shit.. I was hoping for a bird because that's what I was best prepared to deal with. But a bat was scarier and could bite me and give me rabies!

I know I've mentioned I was wigging out, but I really was. Heart pounding and hands shaking, I next tried to figure how I'd deal with getting it out of my apartment, but at least I had the wherewithall to remember to grab my camera to get a picture of my intruder (below). I contemplated getting my bucket to catch the bat, but as that would require passing by it to get to the kitchen, I settled on a box sitting on my side of the room. I quickly emptied the box out on the floor, and the next thing I knew, the bat had taken off and was doing fast and furious laps of the room. I did not want to be bat-smacked upside the head, so I practically dropped to the floor and lamely waved the box in the bat's direction whenever it would get a little too close. All the while saying, "No... no... no... nooo..." I swear, that's some reality TV right there.

The bat flew into the kitchen, so I had a minute of calm to plan my eviction strategy. I went to open the front door, but the bat returned and began its furious and psychotic orbit around the room. Again, I dropped to the floor and waved the box, still freaked out but observant enough to see that the bat was seeking an exit and would probably just fly out the door by itself if I was able to get it open. I tried to scare it into the kitchen again, but quickly ended my attempt when the bat spazzed out even more, leaving me on the floor praying I would get out of this unscathed.

When the bat flew into the kitchen again, I ran and opened the door, propped open the screen, and awaited its return. This time it chose to circle the kitchen for a few minutes, and I was grateful that I keep my bedroom door mostly closed in order to keep in the cool air. I stood by the open door with my box, waiting. One of my new upstairs neighbors came home at that moment and caught me standing in the door in my wife beater and boxers, holding a box.. quite the first impression. I tried to laugh, but he just stared. Haha. Great.

After a few minutes of touring the kitchen, the bat zoomed back into the living room. It seemed unaware of the open door and I lamely tried to shoo it in that direction from my spot on the floor. After many crazy laps, the bat found the door and swooped off into the night. The first words out of my mouth were, "Oh my god, is it really gone?!"

I'm calmer now, but OMFG. First of all, how.. HOW.. H-O-W did that bat get in the way it did?? It's insane! Secondly, why the air conditioner? Why MY air conditioner? What about my particular air conditioner, or my window, made that bat squeeze itself though a crack no bigger than a couple of millimeters, to get inside?

Bat Out of "What the Hell":

P.S. I'm not afraid of bats, at least when they're not crawling through my air conditioner.

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