Monday, March 05, 2007


I’m going to have to call the patent office and have them remove my application for “Butcher’s Amazing Bat Removal System.” Early Saturday morning I discovered that the system relies too heavily upon bat behaviour being predictable. It is certainly not predictable

At 4:55 am, I awoke to the now familiar sound of a bat squeaking and flapping up out of my basement. It’s sad, but I’m getting used to it. I didn’t leap out of bed swearing, sweating, shaking, or with pounding heart. I rolled on my back, stared at the ceiling, breathed “motherfucker” and calmly reached over to snap my bedside light off.

Off? you ask. Were you not just asleep? Is it not common practice to have the lights already off while resting?

Indeed, the system was thrown out of whack from the start.

I’d woken up at 1 am to the flashing lights and grinding scrape of someone in a big truck clearing snow from the parking lot behind my apartment. I’m sure the people who use the lot were grateful when they showed up the next morning. I, however, I lay in bed getting my cranky pants on until I decided to just give up on sleep and read for a bit.

Worked like a charm. I turned the light on and promptly fell back asleep.

So when the bat woke me up, my first thought after “motherfucker” was that it would be attracted to the only light on in the apartment. I may be getting used to bats, but I am certainly not ready to take one on naked. Luckily, I got the light off before the bat decided to join me in my boudoir.

A moment or two later, I was berobed and bespectacled. Poked my head out in the hall, looked to the right, where I fully expected Freya to have cornered the rodent by the doorway to the kitchen. This has been regular procedure up until now.

No cat. No bat. No dice. I looked to the left. There was Freya at the other end of the hall, looking up at the living room ceiling. Her work done, I scooped her up and shut her in the bedroom.

The bat seemed to be not-so-happily flapping confused circles around my living room. Following BABRS protocol, I opened my apartment door, then the front door to the house, and turned the light on the in the vestibule.

No dice.

Instead of smelling the sweet outdoors and making a beeline towards the light, the bat just kept looping, splopping into the wall every once in a while and scrabbling for purchase.

I waited. I put my coat on. I turned the heat up. I listened to the bat loop loop scrabble in the top northeast corner, loop loop scrabble against the west wall. I turned the light on in the living room. I turned the light off in the living room. I turned the light on in the hall. I turned the light off in the hall. I turned myself about.

It got more and more tired, its loops lower and lower as the minutes wore on. I got more tired and more cold. At one point when its loops were midway down the wall, it did actually fly out of the living room. And directly at me. At face level. I gasped and flapped my hands around. It gasped, stopped dead for a half-second in mid-air and went back into the living room. Flying up near the ceiling again.

At 5:15 am it landed, hanging upside down from the end of my curtain rod. Now, with all this bat business over the past year, with a trip to Preston Hardware on Friday morning during which I actually thought, “Hey, while I’m here buying 30’ of rope at 8 am, I should also get some heavy leather gloves for bat catching,” you might think I would have a pair of heavy leather gloves with which to grab a bat at rest.

I do not. So.

Figuring it was almost light, figuring the bat was tired, figuring the bat would stay put. Figuring that Steve, being the kind kind soul he is, would be able to bring his manly gloves over to my house not long after light struck, figuring it wouldn’t take much time to remove the bat very obviously hanging out in the open before we left for the cottage.

I went back to bed. Shutting the door behind me. Figuring wrong.

The bat was gone in the morning. I did eventually find it hanging off the side of my computer tower beside the wall. It was so groggy with daylight and exhaustion that it didn’t even start squeaking when Steve and His Manly Gloves captured it and took it outside.

Obviously, I have to call my landlord, but from what I understand, once you got bats, you got bats. The house I live in is over 100 years old. There are more than a few hidden, quarter-sized holes. Even if all the bats are actually found and removed from the attic, the chances of them not getting back in are pretty small.

I love my apartment. I have been safe and happy here. When I walk up the block, I can feel that stretching out towards me. The location is perfect – two blocks from Eric, two blocks from the Grs, three blocks from Mitch, close to Centretown fun.

But I do not love bats. I do not love unpredictability. My unpredictable bat situation might just overpower my love for this apartment.

Or maybe I’ll just stop being a princess, buy some fucking gloves already, submit an application to the patent office for a Bat Removal Kit and suck. It. Up.

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