Terrifying blood-sucking rodents!

Yesterday morning at approximately 11:00, Scout and Henry asked to go outside. They normally run around in the back yard for about fifteen minutes, and then they knock to be let back in. (They have manners.)

At around 11:30, it occurred to me that the dogs were still in the back yard. When I opened the door and yelled, “Cookie!” (as I do), Henry came running, but Scout remained seated in the corner of the yard. When I walked out to see what she was guarding, I saw what appeared to be a baby rabbit. AND THEN I SAW THE HUGE BLACK WINGS COMING OUT OF THE RABBIT’S TORSO. It was no rabbit. It was A BAT.

I screamed, “PEANUT BUTTER FOR PUPPIES! GAH!” and Scout reluctantly followed me into the house. I quickly called Jeff.

Me: It’s a bat. It’s a bat. In the back yard. I need to get rid of it.

Jeff: Okay. Settle down. Take a shovel. It’s probably dead and you can just flick it over the fence into the woods.

Me: Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

I grabbed the shovel and kept Jeff on the phone as I went bat hunting. Please know that I’m not necessarily afraid of bats, it’s just that I’m not kidding anyone. I’m terribly afraid of bats. AND, bats are the same color as autumn leaves and our yard is covered with leaves which means HIDDEN BAT.

Okay. This is what happened next. Please close your eyes (and turn down your volume) and know that this is what it’s like to be married to me.

It once was lost, but now was found.

After I stopped peeing myself, I approached the bat slowly with my shovel. I am brave. I am brave. I am brave.

It moves.


The bat was not dead. It was not dead. It was panting really quickly and my heart was sort of breaking for it and I stepped a tiny bit closer and then it raised its head and looked at me and then started flapping its big wings and flailing around. AND THEN IT LEFT THE GROUND!!!

The Bat Takes Flight

It flew about six inches into the air and then flopped back onto the ground and it took me about two seconds to throw the shovel and Flo-Jo (like A BAT OUT OF HELL) back into the kitchen.

Jeff arrived home from work just as the Animal Control officer was pulling up into the driveway. (I always call for outside help when I am freaking out because we the people, by the people, for the people.)

This is what I know:

1. The Animal Control officer walked around our yard with an empty Folgers coffee container for nearly twenty minutes before declaring that the bat was unable to be found.

Me: You can’t go!!! What if I come out later and FIND IT?!?!

Animal Control: Just put something over it like that plastic swimming pool over there and give me a call so I can get rid of it for you.

Me: A good friend of mine said that she would come over and hit it over the head with a shovel if it was suffering.

Animal Control: Don’t ever hit a bat over the head. When we test for rabies, we test brain waves. If the brain is smooshed, the bat can’t be tested for rabies.

(Okay. Time out. If the brain is smooshed, the bat can’t be tested for rabies. I can never remember if you feed or starve a fever, but I will remember the bat brain smoosh rule for the rest of my days.)

2. According to the Animal Control officer, bats are normally hibernating at this time of year, but they typically come out of hibernation once a month to feed. TO FEED.

3. I’m never stepping out into the back yard again.

(Please know that both Scout and Henry are completely updated on their rabies vaccinations. I’m more on top of that than I am of anything else in my life.)

Dear Lord. When I finished my parenthetical aside about rabies vaccinations, my word count was at 666. What on earth is happening over here?!?! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

17 thoughts on “Terrifying blood-sucking rodents!”

  1. I once picked up a bat (carefully, by the wings, because of the rabies thing) . There were a lot hanging out in the trees where I lived and it had fallen on the ground in a patch of hot sunshine which I was sure wasn’t doing it any good. So I moved to a shady area and hoped for the best.

  2. OMG – if you don’t include audio in many future posts, the world will NOT be as good a place. That is seven flavors of awesome hilarity right there. I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. See also: my response to the time my toddler son almost ate a junebug thinking it was a raisin. The sounds you made – were the sounds I made, I’m pretty sure. Also – have I mentioned that I am pretty sure junebugs are some sort of bizarre prehistoric evil bug (ugh, the sound of them hitting the screen, I get a little wobbly even thinking of it in November…..)

  3. I woke up one fine August morning to find a bat hanging from my ceiling. (Thanks to the cat and a cat door.) Closed the door, told my college aged daughter to not go in and left. When my husband came home we could not find the bat. Looked all through the closet and in all the corners. My daughter saw it flying around when she opened the door after being told not to. My husband’s solution was to take the screen out of the window so the bat could fly out in the middle of the night. Shudder. A few days later, I was outside and saw the bat (dead by now) on the bathroom window screen up under the blinds where you couldn’t see it from inside.

  4. Oh, this is killing me! I have a napping spouse within earshot so cannot listen to the audio. Think I have a real treat in store for later, though.

    Gone, but clearly not forgotten, little bat :-)

  5. What is WRONG with you people? You’re laughing? There was/is a friggin’ Flying Rat and this woman bravely ventured out in the yard (something I would NOT do because I am not brave about rodents of any kind) and you laugh?

    I hear agonizing, tortured screams from a damsel in distress. If I had been there, I would have been dialing 9-1-1 to send help as I watched from inside the house. Yes I would. I would not have laughed.

    I’m just glad no people or animals were harmed by the terrifying, blood-sucking rodent. Really. I am so not laughing.

  6. I tell ya, that Grammy is a good good woman!

    I listened to the audio. I am now completely in tears. Laughter tears. But empathetic ones!!

    Were I a blogger, the world would already have heard about the time I suited up in full haz-mat/riot gear (That would be a thick parka with zippered gym bag covering my head, and tennis racquet in front of my face so I could see) to confront the SQUIRREL that was loose and wreaking complete havoc in our son’s home while his wife and baby daughter were sequestered upstairs.

    Grammy, you would have done the same, I know you would! We women? Protectors of the world, I tell ya!

    And also, the technology that allows us to be right there on-scene during those highlights? Phenomenal!

  7. Oh my! I’m with you here. Never ever go near the bat. In Australia, there is no rabies but you do have to look out for Australian Bat Lyssavirus and Hendra virus. Both of these have killed quite a few people recently.

  8. I haven’t laughed this hard for a long time. Your audio is priceless. I’m going to come back to this posting over and over. Thanks. (And I have subscribed to gardening magazines that were touting bat houses to tack up in gardens, and I almost succumbed once. And then I thought, bats? No.)

  9. A man down the street once discovered a bat on his loofah sponge while he was in the shower. Can you even imagine?
    Bats completely petrify me.

  10. Carroll — what a hero! I love the hazmat suit you came up with and, yes, I would have done the same thing because as much as I am afraid of rodents (squirrels get no quarter with me because no, they are not that cute) I could not bear to think of my daughter-in-law and grandchild at risk and my doing nothing.

    That is what makes us all brave — knowing we just need to do whatever that scary thing is because someone we love needs us to. I am glad, however, that it hasn’t come to that for me.

    Snakes, call me. Spiders, I’m right there. Lizards, let me show you how it’s done. A tiny little field mouse, if you are in danger I’ll devise a hazmat suit and try to chase it away, but I’ll probably alternate sobbing and vomiting while I’m at it. So please tell me you called 9-1-1 and got out of the house already.

  11. Audio: Hilarious. More please.

    Shannon: No. Bat on the loofa in the shower is more terrifying than Psycho ever was. I may never be clean again.

    Me: I once chased an enormous cockroach around a hotel room in Turkey trying not to completely and utterly descend into abject and disturbing middle-of-the-night hysterics.

  12. FWIW, having had a close encounter with a bat in a cooler earlier this summer (close enough to necessitate prophylactic rabies shots for the small person who discovered the bat, until we heard back from animal control that the bat was not in fact rabid), they absolutely do not test brain waves, they test THE BRAIN.

    They want the bat, and most people tend to shoo them out of the house or immediate area, which Animal Control suggested strongly one avoids doing if at all possible. They need the brain, the bat does not have to be alive but it is probably helpful if the brain is all in one spot.

    We were able to contain our bat in a peanut jar until Animal Control showed up (ON A HOLIDAY WEEKEND EVENING) to collect it. This is a comment on the internet!

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