Sunday, July 02, 2006

Alena's Bat Adventures, Part Deux

After the heart-pounding excitement of my first bat adventure, I had both hoped and assumed that it was a singular strange and random event. As in.. oh, I don't know.. it wouldn't repeat itself.

Just a bit ago, I went into the kitchen for a moment. Because I wasn't planning on being in there long, I didn't turn the light on. As I was turning to walk back into the living room, I heard a noise behind me. It was a small, rustly thud that sounded like something lightweight and soft falling on the ground. Seeing as my kitchen is full of random stuff likely to fall on the floor, I didn't think much of it. As I approached the far end of the kitchen, I spotted a dark shape somewhat resembling a crumpled-but-uncrumpling grocery bag, and assuming that's what it was, further approached in order to pick it up.

That was when the thing moved and in an instant of shocked recognition, I saw what it was. On the floor, crawling and flailing its wings, was a bat. Oh, shit! was the first thing out of my mouth and I froze. Not again!

I flipped on the light and visually verified that I was looking at a small, furry, winged mammal, which was now chilling in the vicinity of my stove. I did a quick pace of the apartment, closed my bedroom door, and tried to come up with an eviction strategy. I was grateful that the bat wasn't flying around all crazy like the last one, but I worried that if it wasn't simply stunned, it might be sick or something. I'm not afraid of bats per se, but the last thing I want is to get the rabies. You think I'm crazy now, but wait until you see me foaming at the mouth.

The bat's calm demeanor afforded me the opportunity to run and grab my camera because, of course, no bit of craziness in my life should go undocumented.

What is the deal with these bats, anyway? I mean, who else do you know has had two bats invade their home within a one year period?

Since my little friend was kindly holding still despite my moving around and multiple camera flashes, I decided to venture near it to grab my bucket. When I have insect invaders, I use a cup-and-postcard method to put them outside. I figured, why mess with success?

I got my bucket and positioned it over the bat, but it was partially under the stove and didn't move, even when the bucket was mostly on top of it. I looked around for something to poke it with, and then nudged it away from the stove.

The little bugger put up a bit of a fight then and proved it wouldn't let me win so easily. It started flailing and skittering across the floor as I attempted to maneuver the bucket around it, a difficult feat considering I was trying really hard to not crush a wing or hurt it.

After a bit of wrangling, I found my window of opportunity and got the entire rim of the bucket on the floor. The bat was finally captured and, as the plastic closed in around it, it chitter-shrieked to let me know it wasn't too happy about it.

The most nerve-wracking part over, I took a collapsed cardboard box and gently slid it under the bucket. I then opened the kitchen door to the balcony and propped open the screen. Of course, being 4th of July weekend, a ton of people were gathered in my neighbors' yard, with plain and full access to the potential drama about to unfold. Under the watch of fifteen drunken people, and once again in a wife-beater and boxers, I carried the bucket, cardboard, and bat out onto my balcony.

I opened the contraption and set the bat on the armchair outside, which was the best-lit portion of the balcony. I wanted to keep an eye on it as I went back inside, lest it come attack me or try to fly back into my kitchen. I watched for a moment and the bat seemed confused. It crawled around a little, but didn't take off right away. I felt badly for it because I thought it was sick, but then the next thing I knew, the little bugger took off and flew in my general direction.

To my credit, I avoiding shrieking or making an ass out of myself for the most part (you know, aside from my carrying out a big yellow bucket and a cardboard box in the least flattering outfit I own), but when I saw that bat coming at me, I did run back inside rather quickly to shut the door.

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