Susan's Blog

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Night Moves

I am extremely pumped, which means I will crash sometime in the afternoon.

Woke up at 4 a.m. I lay there thinking, “I have to be up in two hours but I’ll be a wreck if I don’t go back to sleep,” over and over, which did nothing to help my cause. And just as I was shutting my eyes and drifting, I heard a faint rustling noise. It was coming from the window shade on Ned’s side. Rustle, rustle. Whir. Oh God, wings. What the f***? A mouse? Or — gulp — a bat?

I have to tell you, I know there are many pro-bat people out there, people who tell you that bats eat mosquitoes, yadayada, that they’re really good, not scary, blahblahbla. Well they never had one dive-bombing at their heads in their living room. Those things can be tiny, like a benign shriveled leaf when they’re at rest, but when they fly, they’re huge and like something out of a horror movie. We have had three bat episodes in this big old house of ours, and I never want to go through that again. Max screaming, all of us herded into one room to get away from it. Then, the ominous silence when it finally tires and the furtive search for the thing. We had to trap them and kill them and get them tested for rabies — oh yes, that is what you should do, do not let them get away because you may have been exposed — they were negative, thank God. I got the boys rabies vaccines, as a preventive measure (not the kind of shot that contains human gamma globulin, but the kind veterinarians get prior to going into practice.) I actually had to take the three of them four weeks in a row for shots! But the thing is, what if it were to happen again, during some night, while they were asleep. Would Nat be able to tell me what had happened? He has trouble initiating. Would Benji wake up, even?

I got the roof holes all closed up and had the house bat-proofed, but when I heard that rustling noise I felt my stomach plummet. It sounded like we had a bat again.

“Ned,” I whispered, pushing the pillows off his head. “I hear something trapped behind the window shade.”
“Whaaa” He said, poking out of the bedclothes. I turned on the light.
Rustle, whir.
“What is it?” He asked.
“Could be a bat,” I said.
We looked at each other.
“Shit.”
“What do we do?”
We stood there for a while and stared at the window shade. We heard nothing. I leaned in and flicked it. Nothing. Turned the light out. Nothing. I started to raise the shade.
“Be careful, Sue.”
“You do it.”
Finally he got up the courage to lift the shade. I peered at the glass of the sashes. Nothing.
“Well, whatever it was, it’s gone,” I said.
“Wait!” Ned said. “There it is.”
I looked down, and there, resting innocuously below the window sill, was a huge moth. I picked up the magazine lying nearby and mushed it ferociously.
Don’t mess with an anti-bat person at 4 a.m.

5 comments

Susan, this was such a great story…and even though I know you were terrified, it was pretty funny too!..I was glued till the end. I could picture the whole thing happening so clearly in my mind. It’s something that would happen to me, but probably with a spider…get the tennis racket!!

— added by Candy on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 10:37 am

You were very brave! Me I never have anything lying around to kill those nasty bugs. By the time I find an “acceptable” shoe the thing has moved.

— added by Two Roads on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 10:43 am

🙁 We had one bat incident in an old apartment, and I was very thankful I was still married at the time. I was completely freaked out!

— added by Jen on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 12:31 pm

You would have loved the gigantic bats in Okinawa that came out after dark. Forget about late night/early morning walks. Who cares that they only eat fruit. From wing tip to wing tip–no kidding–up to 2 foot. Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 2:24 pm

Don’t hang out near the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin at sunset.

I like going down to the bridge and watching the bats come out — but I live many miles away and we do NOT have a “bat house” in the backyard. Never mind it would be less light-polluting than the bug-zapper, we’re not having bats in our yard if we can help it.

And I have been freaked out very badly by a number of moths over the course of my life. (The worst ones are the really big ones body-slamming the window out of the blue.)

— added by Julia on Saturday, November 4, 2006 at 12:07 am

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