Saturday, August 31, 2013

Home Intruder

My wife and I arrived home after attending a gathering at her friend's house. I was exhausted and Trudy was a little tipsy from a few drinks. All we wanted was to unwind and drift off to sleep. 

As soon as we walked into our apartment, though, I noticed an offensive odor. It was a revolting amalgamation of ammonia and dung. I immediately assumed that one of our cats had released some foul waste product in their litter box, but the smell from the "Cat hallway" was not as nearly as offensive as the smell in the dining room. 

After half an hour of wondering what was causing the smell, relaxing, and swearing harm to the cats if they took up urinating in the dining room, I noticed a flicker in the air beyond our bedroom door and a sudden wave of panic which rushed through our cat Molly and our dog Goldie. When they both settled into a half-seated stance we noticed that they were both gazing at the top of the refrigerator. What the hell, I wondered?

Some more time passed and they became less concerned with the fridge. We assumed that it must have been some noise from our upstairs neighbor and nothing more. We assumed incorrectly. 

My curiosity eventually got the better of me, and I went out to begin to remove items from the top of the fridge. I took down some spray bottles and a box of garbage bags. I grabbed the dog food bag and a container of dog treats. I then went for one of the two last things atop the icebox, a package of paper towel rolls. That's when the panic returned in full force and all sorts of hell broke loose.

A winged shadow leapt into the air and began bobbing around about me in a mad flight. I quickly fell back into the bedroom and shouted, "It's a bat!"

A small brown bat was apparently nesting behind the paper towels inside a small cooler we were storing up there. We don't know how long it had been in the house or how it managed to make it inside. All I knew was that it was in the dining room flying circles around the ceiling fan, attracting the attention of both of our cats. 

Furious, I considered my options and shouted back potential plans to Trudy who just wanted it out of the house. It took some time for me to figure out where it might be, how I might approach the removal, and to steel myself for facing a small, speedy flying grotesquerie (I'm not a fan of bats). Eventually, with winter gloves pulled over my hands, stretched as far as they would go up my forearms, and with a tan fedora atop my head, complete with a small brown feather in its band, I charged out to survey the room.

It didn't take long to find the fiend, dangling from atop a slightly ajar cabinet door. Jellybean, the older of our cats, was watching it, showing an uncharacteristic interest in this new oddity. I moved to the kitchen to retrieve a broom, certain that my initial plan of braining it with a wooden dowel would be fairly ineffective in comparison.

With broom in hand I moved up, positioning my legs for a stance which would allow a lung as well as the opportunity to dive into the bedroom should my aim fail and the creature dive at me. I swung and dislodged it, which naturally sent it back into a frantic spin around the ceiling fan. It managed to dodge the broom head several times, making several more rounds, until the broom finally connected and sent it crashing to the floor. After it hit it went somewhat limp and supine, apparently only able to move its head from side-to-side. I was certain that I'd caused enough damage to prevent it from moving, but I couldn't just let it sit there suffering or throw it outside to slowly die in agony. 

I brought the broom head down upon it slowly, and with my free hand I aimed the dowel so that I could strike at it through the straw of the broom. One. Two. Three. Four heavy strikes rained down upon it, and I gently lifted the broom to verify its expiration. Based on what I saw, it was quite deceased. 

The clean up was fairly easy, though. I found a spare rag to throw over and wrap around it, and then I threw that into the cooler which held a few pieces of what must have been its feces. I carried it out to the dumpster and threw it away. 

Our animals have calmed down now, and Trudy seems to be resting easy, though she showed significant fear in response to my killing of the bat. Perhaps it was the irrational anger I released upon it. I know that I loathed killing it. I'm sorry that I was too disturbed in the moment to think of another way. 

So, that's tonight's bat story.

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