les bas-bleus (vialed) wrote in bad_service,
les bas-bleus

A Tale of Bats.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a bat expert. Most of what I know is from growing up in the Midwest and receiving pamphlet in school about bats and rabies. Also, wikipedia.

That all aside, this is a suck from October 2007. It's a wee bit long, due to my love of details. Sorry.

BACKSTORY: I had moved into Madison, WI into the top floor of a three story house with a basement and small attic. Being that this is the Midwest, it's starting to get cold out and we live right on the top floor, bats are to be anticipated.

The first bat showed up at 3 AM while I was suffering from crazy insomnia, at the computer. I have cats, so when I felt a thump on the back of the chair, I didn't think too much of it. I reached backwards to pet what I thought would be one of my cats. Except what I felt was a leather-y, wing thing.

Cue me being all, “OMFG” and the bat shrieking and flying in circles around my room. My cats are chasing the bat around, which makes me nervous because, um, rabies. So I grab my cats, exit the room, shut the door with the bat still in it and spazzing out.

I put my cats in the pantry, and shut the door. I wake up my roommate, grab a broom, and prepare for battle.

Enter my room, and the bat is chilling out on the top of my bookcase. Fair enough. I make sure my closet doors are closed, pop open the screen to the window, and shoo the bat out. The bat is not down with that. I say, “Forget it,” after a good 45 minutes, and decide that I'll just crash out on the futon in the living room.

The next morning, the bat was gone. I did a thorough room search, fixed my window back up, and do as much research as I can for signs of rabies. Turns out I don't have rabies. Sweet.

This is told to document that yes, I have indeed seen a bat, in my room, in this house. This becomes key later.

SUCKAGE: A few weeks pass, and the bat situation is all but forgotten. I come home from work, and notice my cats are hanging out near the pantry. I become suspicious, and yep, even though it's the late afternoon, I hear scratching and bat-shrieks from the place where we keep our litter box and cleaning supplies. Joy.

I open the pantry, (after shooing the cats into my room and shutting the door), and the bat comes swooping out. I'm slightly paranoid because one of the signs of an animal with rabies is it coming during the part of the day that they're typically asleep. Bats = nocturnal. Now that bat is flying around our living room and making weird sounds. So I do what any smart kid would do: I call the property management, and ask them to please please please get this flipping bat out of the house.

They inform me that they're going to send out their “animal expert.” I am over-joyed.

About two hours later, this guy comes. As I vacate my room for the first time since seeing the bat, I notice that the bat isn't being all crazy. In fact, I have no idea where the heck it went. I grab the door, the guy comes in. The conversation follows as such:

BD = Bat Dude
Me = ...Me.

BD: So where's the bat?
Me: I'm... not quite sure. When I last saw it, it was in the living room.
BD: 'Kay. *he starts searching around*
Me: This is the second time I've seen a bat too.
BD: They do come out 'round this time o' year. *sees I have cats* Oh, well hey, why didn't you just let these fellas play with 'im?
Me: ... Excuse me?
BD: Cats're natural predators you know.
Me: But, um, isn't there a threat of the bat having rabies? Especially if the bat comes out during the day?
BD: Nah, that's a bunch of bull shit, Madison don't have no rabies bats. People are so fuckin' scared of bats, they don't know nothin' 'bout 'em. This “rabies epidemic” yeh hear about is nothin' but bull shit.
Me: Oh.

Suck #1: Freaking... thinking I should have let my cats play with the possibly rabies-infected bat, and swearing at me for daring to imply that the bat could have had rabies. Generally swearing at me doesn't bother me, but he was definitely speaking at me snappishly.

The search continues, and he sees no bat. I take this time to give him more details on the first bat situation, and he tells me I acted accordingly. Well, sweet. Conversation, summore.

BD: Well, I don't see no bat.
Me: There are some holes in the pantry walls. Is it possible it could have gotten in there?
BD: Nope, there ain't no holes in yer pantry.

Okay, stop a second. I know for a fact that there are holes in there, holes a good two or three inches in diameter. I imagine bat could wiggle itself in and out of one of those holes pretty quickly, if it felt so inclined. But whatever, he's the “animal expert,” right? If he doesn't think the holes were big enough to wiggle through, he's probably right. What the hell do I know, I just went to art school.

BD: Y'know, I'm startin' to think you made this bat up.
Me: Hahaha- *seeing he's not kidding* Um, no. I actually saw a bat.
BD: Yeh sure? You saw a bat and didn't just hear one?
Me: *starting to get a bit miffed* No, sir. I actually, physically saw a real bat.
BD: Haven't been at the pot, have you?
Me: No, I have not been smoking pot. If there is no bat, then I guess you'd better be on your way then, hm?

Yes, I snapped. I'm sorry, but how freaking rude is that? I told you I saw the bat before, I gave you details as to how I dealt with it. Why the hell would I make this up? It's not like I like having random strangers up in my house looking for animals that don't exist.

So he goes on his way. Before I shut the door, he actually says, “Now, you call me when you see a real bat, 'kay?” AND THEN HE WINKS AT ME.

It was forever ago, but today I had another maintenance fellow come in to fix the drain in the shower. I tell him the tale, and he informs me that not long after, the downstairs neighbors reported a bat issue. One of the holes in the pantry is actually on the floor, and leads directly to our downstairs neighbor's pantry. He reckons, (and I agree), that my bat friend wiggled through one of the holes and ended up there.

Needless to say, every hole in my place is currently covered with duct tape.
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