I recently dealt with a bat in the house, and had a whole adventure with it before finally calling Allstate Animal Control to get rid of the bat and make sure I didn’t have any more living in the attic or chimney or anywhere else. Before this all happened, I had no fear of bats. I saw them in the zoo. I caught glimpses of them flying around the nearby park when I was running at twilight. I know they keep insect populations down, especially mosquitoes, which are a real problem around here. I know they are pretty amazing animals. So, I never had a fear of them.
Until I stepped on one in my bare feet.
Yep, that was pretty awful.
It was mid afternoon. I’d just come home from class and I was getting ready for work. I’m trying to get my bachelors degree, and then I want a masters in business administration. Between work, school and my social life, I keep myself pretty busy, and I don’t spend a lot of time at home. So, I didn’t know I had a bat problem. I had grabbed a bowl of cereal for lunch (don’t judge me), and was taking it back to my room so I could eat while looking for my shoes, since I didn’t have a lot of time before work. I turned the corner into my room quickly and as soon as I stepped down, I knew something was terribly wrong. Something hairy, squirmy and very angry was wriggling beneath my foot. I pulled my foot up, and this black shadow flew straight up to the ceiling, bumped around up there, and then settled out of sight on the top of my book shelf. I didn’t even have breath left to scream, and I desperately needed to disinfect my foot, make sure I didn’t have a bat bite, and probably hire a hypnotherapist to make me permanently forget the memory of stepping on a bat.
I certainly didn’t want to investigate to see whether the bat was still alive. I pulled the bedroom door shut, washed my feet about twenty times, cleaned up the spilled cereal, pulled on a different pair of shoes from the downstairs closet, and headed out to work. During my break, I called United Wildlife Control so they could send a professional out to get rid of the bat in my house, and check to make sure I didn’t have a bat colony lurking around anywhere else.
Now, of course, I’m terrified of bats. I’ve gone running in the park a few times since then, and every time I see one out of the corner of my eye, innocently swooping around in the air to catch itself some dinner, I stifle a shriek, start to shake, and my foot involuntarily curls up. I’m sure my reaction will lessen as time goes by, but in the meantime, I think I’ll join a gym and run on a treadmill.