I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had woken up at 5:30 to go running like I had originally planned.
Unfortunately for my training plan, I stayed up late reading and my body was still sore from a 15km run on Sunday so I decided to sleep in this morning. “I’ll put in my 30 mins tonight once it cools down,” I told myself.
When I finally staggered out of bed, nothing seemed amiss. Jasper flopped his tail groggily as I shuffled my way to the washroom with thoughts of a quick shower in my mind.
But as I came to the threshold of my tiny washroom, I stopped dead in my tracks. From where I stood I could see a dark lump of something sitting in the bathtub.
While the light was still off, I considered that it may have been a small Jasper turd and, rather than being angry, I was impressed that he had enough foresight to bring his business into the washroom.
As I reached for the light switch, I noticed what looked like little feet and I thought it might be a toad and wondered how it could have gotten in my bathtub.
But as soon as the light came on, there was no question.
It was a bat.
“Well this is interesting.”
Up until this point, the biggest thing to have ever gotten into my apartment had been hornets.
“I suppose something like this was bound to happen sooner or later.” I was talking to Jasper, who seemed to be treating the situation with a healthy dose of both curiosity and caution. Suddenly the price of keeping his shots up-to-date seemed like no big deal. High five, Jasper.
Thus began the fretful pacing in and out of the washroom as I tried to figure out what to do with it. I realized very quickly that I didn’t really that know very much about bats and was suddenly wishing I had paid more attention at the Bat Cave when I visited the Royal Ontario Museum a couple weekends ago.
Having enough common sense not to touch the bat – now dubbed Batarang – with my bare hands, I donned a sexy pair of yellow rubber kitchen gloves and grabbed a large, lightweight towel. He didn’t put up a fight when I draped the towel over him, emitting only a surprised sounding “iip!”.
“Well now I know you’re not dead. That’s good I guess…”
I gently bundled Batarang in the rest of the towel and then turned, bewildered, to Jasper.
I dunno, he blinked. I’m a dog.
So outside we went.
Out on an unloved plastic table in the back yard, I carefully unfolded the towel and laid it flat. At first Batarang didn’t move.
“Aw dammit! I killed it, didn’t I?”
Gloves still secure on my hands, I picked up a small twig and tickled under his chin. Apparently bats aren’t ticklish because he responded by showing off his little nubbin’ fangs and clicking angrily at me. Jasper peaked over the table and quickly decided that this adventure was not for him.
You crazy, he said completely non-verbally. Have fun, I’m outta here.
Carefully, tiny Batarang unfurled himself into the Batman symbol in what I assumed was an attempt to call forth the wrath of his kin (or at least the caped crusader) and, after taking a few totally necessary pictures, I decided to give him his space.
The Internet’s reaction was hilariously varied, with everything from “I love bats!” to “GOD WHY??” and even a lot of truly helpful ideas. Apparently finding a bat in your house is a serious conversation starter. Here’s a sampling:
Facebook was also a source of much discussion, from the humourous:
“OBVIOUSLY you should have perched the bat on the back of your neck and gone wandering around a nuclear power station.” – Jacob
To the seriously helpful:
“If you can gently move it into the shade with something that is not your hands go for it, but bats are carriers of rabies and their scat can be toxic to people (like mouse) so just dont touch it. You cant even tell when youve been bit by a bat, but even the smallest bite can get you sick which will lead to a nasty round of needles to your stomach.” – Chelsea
[Ed note: Chelsea is a park ranger and certified nature nerd. She included this helpful link for my education and it's definitely worth checking out.]
I started fretting over the fact that Batarang wasn’t flying away and I worried that letting him out during the daytime (not optimal) was the culprit. Eventually, by the advice of the Internet, I found a broken tree in shady, wooded part of my yard, tucked him in and hoped for the best.
Thankfully, when I went to check on him before leaving for work, Batarang had fled the premises.
I still have no idea how he got into my apartment (although one commenter noted that bats like Batarang can squeeze through spaces as small as HALF AN INCH! Nature, you so crazy!) All-in-all though, it was quite a way to start my Tuesday.
What about you? Have you every had a bat in the house? (Or any other wild critter for that matter!) How did you deal?