On the Bright Side, I Think I Can Add “Wildlife Removal” to My Resume

Around 2:00 this morning, something woke me up. Middle-of-the-night logic decided my sleep had been disturbed by an animal on the fire escape, and so I got up and closed the window. None of this made sense, of course. What I’d heard was a whisper of sound–I’m a comically light sleeper–and even a chipmunk on the fire escape makes a holy racket you can hear two streets over. Also, why did I think I needed to shut the window? To protect myself from a squirrel? It’s true that every once in a while I see a raccoon out there, and I wouldn’t put it past a raccoon to tear out the window screen so it could come in and murder me, but raccoons make WAY more noise because they’re huge and don’t care about anything, so I also knew it wasn’t a raccoon.

Still, like an idiot, I closed the window and got back in bed, which is when I noticed the bat flying around.

I get a bat in my apartment about once a year, and I already had my one bat of the year a couple months ago, which my cat Benny quite helpfully killed and then deposited on my bed for my inspection while I was trying to sleep, so this second bat really seemed unfair, a feeling I expressed by throwing the covers over my head to hide from everything that was happening.

I honestly thought about going back to sleep all covered up like that–I was so tired–hoping that somehow reality would become different by morning, but, no, I realized I needed to get up and deal with the bat. So I arranged my comforter over my head grim reaper style, opened the window, opened the screen, went into the hall, closed my bedroom door, and laid down on the floor since I figured I should probably wait 20 minutes or so before going back in to see if the bat had found its way out the window.

And there was Benny in the hall, curled up right outside my door, looking at me all irritated like I was just really out of line with my intrusion into the hallway. I don’t know why this is, but sometimes when bats get in the apartment, Benny’s like a puma, and other times, he acts like nothing odd is happening at all. This was one of his nothing’s-going-on-leave-me-alone times.

So I petted him, which he seemed to think was okay. I don’t really want him killing bats. I don’t want the bats killed at all–I don’t want them in the apartment, but I also think they’re adorable. I always feel badly about the ones that don’t make it out alive.

It’s possible I fell asleep on the floor in the hall for a while.

When I got up, the bat seemed to be gone, but I always feel worried it’s only hiding out when I haven’t seen it fly out the window myself. That happened one time, too. All you can do is wait, though, so I closed the window, went back to bed, jumped about a foot every time I heard even a slight creak–which is constant in a house that has existed for over 100 years–and finally fell back asleep about fifteen minutes before my alarm went off. 4am logic, which is slightly better than 2am logic, decided to skip the gym and sleep a couple extra hours.

If another bat comes this year, it’s Benny’s turn again.

4 thoughts on “On the Bright Side, I Think I Can Add “Wildlife Removal” to My Resume

  1. I have had a raccoon come in and try to …well, maybe not murder me, but it certainly left paw prints all over. And then, there was that time with the feral hamster…

    No bats here so far.
    New house, though, and I have egrets in the back garden, so ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

  2. I want to hear about the feral hamster, T.

    Also, egrets! Does that mean you’re adjacent to water now? I mean, you’re always close in that region, I know, but I feel like egrets stick pretty close to actual water, but most of what I know about them I learned here just now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egret.

  3. The feral hamster was left in the last house we rented… by the renters? Their children let him get loose on the last day? It moved in, fleeing from other children??? Who can tell; all I know is that I had bites out of the avocados sitting on the counter, and THAT was NOT ON.

    Most rats don’t a.) climb counters, and b.) browse and take bites out of things and leave them. So, I put out a trap – what I thought was a “gentle” trap, just a glue trap, to see if I could stop the creature and get a look at it… well, I got a look at a bunch of long hair, because it was well too big to be stopped by a glue trap. Long, white and golden brown hair… I was like, “Huh.” We tried to catch it for a month, and it would not be caught… and then it fell into an open pipe – the people had removed a sink and not capped a large pipe – and it…drowned. And blocked the pipe. And flooded the downstairs.

    Revenge of the feral hamster. Kind of a sad story, and honestly, I’d have preferred it to just come eat my avocados. We could have come to an agreement of sorts…

    But yes: we are adjacent to water now. Newark is right next to the Dumbarton Bridge, where it famously turns into the Newark Slough. Check it: if I knew what I was doing, I could kayak.

    Also, we’re Atlas Obscura famous, because you can see our salt ponds from the air. Who knew, huh?

  4. Oh my gosh re: the hamster. I’ve never heard of one gone rogue like that.

    Also, those salt ponds are crazy–I’d like to see them.

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