Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bats in the attic: not always a metaphor.



Several years ago, Bryan Singer's Batman: the Dark Knight came out, and I found a favourite quote: Why do we fall down? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again. I use this quote a lot, and my Bestie MJ finally had enough one day; she was telling me about a tough experience at work, and when I said, 'Why do we fall?', she looked at me with distrustful eyes and said, 'So the bats can get in our hair!' Remember this for later. 


I am awakened by the sounds of our pug, Mr Darcy, scrambling around on the floor. Figuring he's having a seizure, I spring up in bed and blearily peer over at him. It takes me a few seconds to realize that he's attacking something...something that has escaped him and is now flying around the ceiling fan.
The Something has brought a friend, I see, as my foggy vision makes out not one, but two giant angry bats. They spin wildly around the room, endlessly following the blades of the spinning ceiling fan. Like some terrible Tim Burton mobile. 

source: Cdn Museum of Nature
I must have started screaming, because Brian is up in a flash, but still confused. He decides to stand up even though I'm screaming at him to duck. Me, I slither off the bed like a snake, and begin walking like a chimp on all fours towards the stairs to the first floor. Brian eventually catches on as the two big bats whiz past his head, and he shouts for me to go downstairs, which I'm already doing, sticking as low to the ground as I can in a crab walk position on a steep incline. 


When I get downstairs, I lock myself in the bathroom, and it's only then that I realize I've left the love of my life to fend off two crow-sized bats. It occurs to me that neither of us knows how to deal with this. I open the bathroom door a crack to check on Bri, hollering that I'd like to know what the plan is. When I don't get a response, I step out of the bathroom and stand at the bottom of the bedroom stairs, where I shout, 'Don’t you let those bats touch you, or we will make you get a rabies vaccine!' Of course, this is when Bat One, confused and maybe mistaking my shrill voice as one of his kin, flies directly into me.  

source: Cdn Museum of Nature
The creature bounces off my forearm and ricochets into the living room. I scream one long, high note reminiscent of Beaker from the muppet show, and furiously scrub at my arm. Now YOU have to get a rabies shot, says my brain, and I start to yell to Brian that I need to go to the doctor. He runs downstairs, reassures me that the bat hasn’t given me rabies by running into me, and then heads off to deal with the bats, which have regrouped in the living room. I can’t figure out where to go, so I keep wandering back and forth, crouched close to the ground, wondering what Brian is going to do. Full panic has set in and I keep looking at my arm for signs of scratches. One of the bats dips out of the living room and straight into my previous refuge in the bathroom. I drop flat to the floor in the hallway, grab a towel out of the laundry, and throw it over myself; crouched in a corner, I call my parents.

Mom answers the phone. She’s actually up with a touch of insomnia, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Sobbing, I tell her, “There are two bats in my house, and one of them touched me!” She sounds surprised and amused, but keeps her cool and gives me directions for Brian: get a towel or blanket to throw over the beasts. At this point I start laughing as I say, “Mom...oh my god...there are literally bats in my attic.” She laughs heartily at this. Mr Darcy finds me in my towel fortress and curls up in my lap like a cat, presumably  to better protect me, or maybe to secure the best view from which to watch my breakdown.


Brian informs us that one of the bats seems to have left through the patio door—at least, he assumes so because it’s disappeared and the door was open. I’m more skeptical. He heads into the bathroom with his blanket-cum-net, and I fill Mom in on the whole story. I hear Dad wake up on the other end of the line, just as Brian comes out of the bathroom and says that Bat Two has also disappeared. Dad shouts out ideas of where the bat may be hiding, but all come up empty. He suggests looking for a tiny tuxedo left behind, a la Dracula.

We surmise the beast must have escaped back into the house through the giant gap in the bathroom door frame, and then must have escaped through a window. Again, I’m dubious. We close the windows and Brian shuts the door to every room as we climb back into bed.  


I reluctantly lay down, but absolutely insist on wearing a hat. My brain, shocked and exhausted, just keeps repeating one thing over and over: 

“Why do we fall?”
“So the bats can get in our hair.”


  1. When you post things like this, about when the cool, calm, and self-assured Jordan goes batshit (sorry), then I feel so much better about myself, and I think, well, at least *I* can handle a bat invasion with aplomb.

    Hilarious. Please keep freaking out forever, Danger K.

  2. OMG...this is so my experience lived all over again. Although living on my own I still close my bedroom door at night to which I have attached rubber door closures to the bottom of the door to close off any space into my room where the creatures could crawl and if I have to get up to go to the bathroom in the night I still duck and race to the washroom in case they are still hovering somewhere ready to attack. I did get rabie shots as strongly advised by the heatlh department at the time...apparently if you wake up to bats in your bedroom you should always get the rabies vacinne in case they have bitten you as sometimes you can't tell. The rabies shot are no longer those long needles into your stomach but shots in your arm over a period of weeks. Remember if you do show signs at some point of rabies it is too late at that point to get the shot, once you have it there is no cure and you DIE. It can show up days after an encounter or years after an encounter so you might want to call the local health department and ask them for advice on whether you should proceed with getting a shot. Good luck with this one!

  3. Poor you! I love the tuxedo comment though :)