The Bat Plague Incident

dun-nun-nun-nun-nun-nun-nun-nun BAT PLAGUE!!!

I was walking out the door on my way to an appointment and talking to my Mom on the phone. When I opened the door, I noticed something fall into my apartment out of the corner of my eye so I leaned down to look closer. IT WAS A BAT! A seemingly dead bat, but a bat nonetheless. Now, I’ve lived in Austin most my life and am pretty used to bats (Austin has the largest urban bat colony in the US). You see them flying en masse from under bridges at dusk and occasionally you will come across a dead one. You should never touch a dead bat. Actually, you probably shouldn’t touch a bat at all dead or alive, but dead bats are especially bad because it usually means they were diseased. I don’t know why we don’t assume they lived long and happy lives and then died of old age but we don’t. We assume they had bat plague and we run like Monty Python-esque villagers away from them.

Unfortunately, since this bat fell into my apartment, I didn’t have the luxury of running away. In fact, I couldn’t run anywhere. I knew I couldn’t just leave it there but I also was literally gagging at the thought of handeling it at all. Luckily, I was still on the phone with my Mom who is nothing short of superhuman.

Me: Oh. My. Gosh. Mom!!! A freakin bat just fell into my apartment. I think it’s dead. 

Mom: Do NOT touch it!

Me: I know, I know. I won’t. What do I do? Oh gosh. Oh gosh. This is gross. I can’t handle this. I can NOT handle this. 

Mom: You can do it sweetheart. Get a shoe and kick it out. 

Me: Ok, I have an old tennis shoe, which I’m totally throwing away after this. Ok. Ok. I’ve got this. I’ve got this! (I proceed to try to flip the bat out of my entryway) AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! It opened it’s wings!!! It’s alive. IT’S ALIVE. ALLLLLIIIIIIVVVEEEEE!!!!!!!

Mom: Ok. That means it’s probably really sick. Be careful. 

Me: What do I do Mommy??? (I always drop the “mommy” when I’m scared/sick/incapable of handling myself as an adult)

Mom: Ok. Do you have a shoebox?

Me: Of course! (I had like 10)

Mom: Ok, get the shoebox and use that. 

Me: Ok. Ok, I’ve got the lid of a shoebox, I’m going to try and flip the bat out. 

Mom: Good plan. 

Me: Nope. Uh uh. Not happening. Oh gosh. I don’t want to get close to it. I’m going to throw-up. I’m definitely going to throw-up. (I start gagging at the thought of being even a foot within bat plague distance)

Mom: Do NOT throw up! You can do this. 

Me: No, I can’t. I really really can’t. Why do I live alone? That was so stupid. Someone else needs to do this. 

Mom: It will take me 15 minutes and then I can get there. 

Me: No. I have an appointment in 15 minutes I can’t miss or they charge me $25. Ok. C’mon. I can do this. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS!

I take the lid and flip the bat out of my entryway and IT STARTS FLYING! Also, it had murder in it’s eyes and a look that clearly said “I am going to give you bat plague.” Needless to say, I FREAKED OUT. I started screaming bloody murder and slammed my door before it could fly back in my apartment. But, I really needed to get to my appointment so after a couple minutes of trying to restart my heart while my Mom listened to my panicked breathing, I opened the door a tiny bit. The bat was lying about 3 feet from my door, totally blocking the stairway and my passage to bat-free bliss. Would this nightmare never end? The bat started squeaking and was definitely trying to curse me in bat language. Finally, after about a minute of telling me to eff-off in batugese (the language of bats) it flew away. I don’t know where it went and I don’t care as long as it never comes back. I locked my door and ran down the stairs as fast as I could to my car (because the bat was probably trying to follow me). I called the apartment emergency maintenance line and though they might not have felt it was an emergency, I definitely did and so left them a lengthy message. When I came back from my appointment, I literally soaked my floor in disinfectant and then cleaned my entire apartment just in case even though I had just cleaned it the day before. You don’t gamble with bat plague.

And while I’m proud of myself for handling the bat plague incident, I also couldn’t help but think about how sick I am of having to kill spiders and chase sick bats away. I need a boyfriend for that shiz. Also, major props to my Mom for being the MVP of the day. Thanks Mom!

30 thoughts on “The Bat Plague Incident

  1. I’ve never encountered a bat. So I dont know if I’d be scared or not.
    But props to you for getting ir out of you apt.
    Question, where would I go to learn batugese? You just never know when it might came in handy.

  2. Hello and well done.

    I’m just curious – would you rather deal with a half-dead rat or a half-dead bat? As the owner of a couple of cats who love to hunt I end up dealing with rats a lot but there aren’t many bats near us.

    Also there has only been one rabies death in the UK in the last 100 years – one of the benefits of living on an island is that the animal population is more controllable. Maybe the tourist board should have a slogan: Come to England – our bats are healthier!

    1. Thanks so much.

      Ok- this is a tough one. I think I’m going to have to go with the bat because anything that can fly into your face is pretty terrifying and also the rabies factor. Although, rats can carry plague so I guess they are even on that point. Either way, it’s a situation I would rather avoid.

      YES! That is the best slogan for England I have ever heard!!!!! I mean, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there and never once did I appreciate the health of the bats. I think this is what they call perspective.

  3. Are bats really that bad? My dad’s roommate in college was a bat, and my dad had nothing but good things to say about him, except he kept odd hours and was constantly biting people.

  4. I have to deal with bats once in a while as a part of my job. I kind of like them, in a “we’ll be ok if you stay waaaaay over there” sort of way.

    I was with a co-worker once who was trying to remove one that had flown into a house and attached itself to some draperies. As he reached out for it (gloved), it flew straight at him and splatted right into his face. It was surreal looking at him standing there with a bat flapping its wings while clinging to his face…. seemed like a long time but I’m sure it was just a couple of seconds.

    We get pre-exposure rabies vaccinations as a regular course of business and we had the bat tested just to be on the safe side…. no bat plague worries 🙂

  5. Ummm, I got goosebumps reading this and even let out a very loud gasp when you said it was alive. *shudder*
    Good for you for dealing, and props to mom, but damn. This is like a nightmare scenario.

  6. cooper says:

    Bats are in the top three of my spine breaking fears. I got trapped in a 5 x 10 room with one flapping over my head. Someone else had to come do the showbox thing while it was alive.

    don’t like bats….

  7. Oh, you met Alfred! What he was doing down in Austin I have no idea, but he means no harm really. I keep all his vaccines up to date (no bat plague!) and he’s perfectly healthy, but he is pretty mischievous and was probably messin’ with you.

    Sorry about that. I’ll have a “chat” with Alfred once he finds his way back home. It won’t happen again.

  8. I had a bat get tangled in my hair once. I blacked out and was slicing through my hair with garden sheers when my grandmother found me and helped me through that. I had to get three different types of shots after that too, so I am well aware of the crazy and the panic of bat plague.

    having said that – props to you because I would have moved. End of story. :/

    ps – love the new photo!

    1. Thanks! My friend is a professional photographer and we were having some photo fun.

      If I had a bat tangled in my hair, I imagine I would literally die. And when I got to Heaven, I bet God would be laughing really hard.

  9. very funny, though it would have been awful to actually experience. I had this type of issue with mice when living alone… but at least the mice didn’t have the option of becoming air-borne…

  10. So far, I’ve not had to deal with bats (plagued or otherwise). What I have are mice. They like to live in the warm space in the apt wall behind the kitchen heater. Which means that when they feel adventurous, I end up with mice… in… my… kitchen. Um, no. No No No.

    So occasionally I am in charge of vermin removal. Like you, I man up and brave it, all the while thinking (1) this is so NOT OK and (2) I totally cannot do this (even though I totally AM) and (3) where the hell is my Big Strong Man to take care of crap like this?!? (Occasionally I will get the non-PC staffer at the maintenance dept, who always starts the conversation with, “Is your husband home?” Insult to injury!)

    Interesting PS: I have probably dealt with mice, on my own, 50 times. And while occasionally a good shriek escapes me in the process, I DO manage to buckle down and deal. Unless there’s an actual man around, and then I (how embarassing to tell you) stand on a chair and freak out, like it’s the most horrible thing in the world. And at the time, it is totally NOT AN ACT. I don’t know why but apparently the presence of testosterone in my vicinity makes me more helpless. (Guess it’s good that I’m single, after all.)

    1. Hahaha! I would have been the same way if there was a guy around when the bat incident occurred. Hey, I’m no hero, if someone else is there to handle it, I’m going to let them. 🙂

      Also, if the maintenance guy had said “Is your husband around?” to me on the phone, I would have literally reached through it and punched him in the face.

      1. I’m not sure – because the rage made me leave my body briefly – but I think I may in fact HAVE reached through the phone and beat the guy senseless.

  11. OMG – I you are braver than me! I see bats swooping around when I’m sitting out on my deck at night, and am sure they are really creepy bacteria-infested vampires coming to eat me. I don’t know what I’d do if one dropped in my doorstep. Great read!

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