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"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


There was a bat in my bedroom the other night. I ran out of the room slamming the door behind me. I stood outside trying to figure out what to do. I silently opened the door a smidgen to check and make sure I had seen what I thought I saw. I had. What am I going to do!

Finally I recalled that people hit them with brooms so I went downstairs and got the broom. Steeling myself to do battle I opened the door and it was not where I had last seen it, circling around the light fixture directly above my bed.

I noticed one of my cats was kind of looking up at a curtain. I snuck a peek and saw the bat. SWACK! I swung and hit it. It fell onto my bed. THAWCK! I banged down the weight of the broom hard onto the back of the bat. It moved then fell onto the floor. WHACK! I hit it once. I hit it twice. It had to be dead.

I looked down and it was gone.

I took the flashlight and gingerly looked under the bed. It was not there. Oh No! Where the heck was it?

I upturned the mattress and then overturned the boxspring. It was nowhere to be found. On the slight chance it had been somehow able to maneuver itself around for a while (But how could it? I must have killed it!) I moved the bureau very slightly away from the wall.

And saw the movement of a wing.

BANG! I pushed the bureau back hard against the wall. It had to have been squished (Eeeeew.) but I was not going to chance it. I would wait until tomorrow.

Wait, there's a can of bugspray right on top of the bureau.

I must have at least hurt it. I hated the darn thing but did want it to suffer. I know, "I'll poison it too" I announced to the room. And then, just for good measure I got some baking soda. If I throw that at it, if I did not kill it with the broom and the poison does not do the job, then the poor thing will asphyxiate. One way or the other this bat was a dead duck.

I slept on the sofa downstairs the idea of the bat just too....ick. The next morning I tried to get myself together enough to get it out from behind the bureau and into the trash. I was standing in front of the bureau with the broom and a long handled dustpan. I was ready. And then I couldn't. I just couldn't!

I went into the den to do some work. The room was next to the bedroom but that was far enough away so that I was not worried about that poor dead bat.

I was on the phone with a friend when, all of the sudden, I see this Thing flying around the fan in the center of the room.

"Oh my G-d!" I screamed into the phone and threw down the entire phone, ran out of the room and slammed the door behind me. Once I gathered my wits I called my friend back and explained what had happened. Either it was the same bat or worse still, it was another one!

She suggested I call the police and they actually came. That officer was no more a fan of bats than was I but he bravely looked for it. And could not find it. Kindly he offered to come back if I saw it again.

The next morning I called an animal control company. He came to the house and after spending almost 25 minutes in the den came downstairs holding up a black plastic garbage bag. "Got it." he said proudly. "Is it alive?" I asked, my disgust quotient almost off the yecch meter. "Oh yes."

Man. What did it take to kill these things? I had just heard they were on the verge of extinction but when it is in your house suddenly the ecosystem becomes a lot less important.

It occurred to me that this is a lot like dealing with pain. You can throw everything possible at it and it is still there. You can be worried about what the treatments are doing to your body, your personal ecosystem, but not be able to give up.

I guess there is no good answer. Much easier just to have a bat and let the animal control guy get rid of it for you.

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