One night our cat Hammy brought a bat into our house.
I was coming down the stairs when I saw him playing with the bat on the ground.
"Hammy," I shouted. "No, no."
Hammy picked up the bat in his mouth as if to say, "Look what I brought you? Aren't you proud?"
After he dropped the bat again, I scooped Hammy up and locked him in the bathroom. I locked our other cat Higgy in the kitchen. They both meowed and scratched at the doors.
The bat began to fly around the living room in circles.
My wife and son, at the top of the stairs, were shouting.
"Go in the bedroom and close the door," I yelled.
I opened the front windows and the back door and turned off the lights.
The bat continued to fly in circles around the living room.
I stood in the darkness holding a broom like a baseball bat. It flew around, disappearing at moments in the darkness. It was quite beautiful flying in the darkness but then I remembered I needed to get the bat out of the house.
I tried to use the broom to motion which direction it should go.
"That way, little bat," I said.
I could barely see the bat in the darkness.
"C'mon, go outside," I said. "Go outside."
Then it disappeared.
Where was it?
I crept around trying to find him, aware that at any moment the killer bat might leap out and attack me.
Would I be turned into Batman?
No, I would just need aggressive dose of rabies vaccines, which is not as fun as turning into Batman.
I found the bat sitting on the stairs.
He was tired perhaps. Flying in circles will do that to you.
What should I do now?
I ran downstairs and found a shoe box.
I put on a N95 mask, ski gloves, and a straw hat--strong protection against a bat attack.
I picked up another cardboard box to use as a shield.
I approached the bat. He stared at me his tiny sensitive eyes. I could sense him using his echolocation to seize me up.
What he saw: a six-foot-three scared man approaching him wearing a straw hat and ski gloves. Definitely not a threat.
I blocked his vision with the large box and swiftly put the shoebox over it.
I slowly moved the shoebox towards the lid I had ready.
It started beeping a little bit. Was it using its echolocation? Was it preparing for an all-out assault?
It was just fucking scared.
I took the bat outside and put the box down and ran away, screaming, of course.
When I checked back about an hour later the bat was gone.
Now for the really fun part. The next few days I would spend hours Googling rabies in bats and calling the vet to see if I should get another rabies booster for my cat (he did have a current rabies vaccine) and the vet said, no, he was likely fine.
I would think, "Did I get bit? Should I get the rabies vaccine? No, my ski gloves protected me."
But that was a close call. A really close call.