Once, my sister Chris and her husband, Matt, woke me up in the middle of the night by pretending to be chainsaw-wielding murderers. Another time, they got an elderly Austrian woman (likely some sort of witch) and her cat to scare the crap out of me on a mountain. And yet another time, they terrorized me in my sleep with the tiniest and most bourgeois of weapons: a milk frother.
You can read about some of those experiences here, if you wish.
Recently, they gave me another scare, and it’s maybe the worst yet. ‘Twas a rabies scare.
Around Christmastime, I go to Chris and Matt’s house in Pennsylvania. I’ve gone there for the last three years and it’s a tradition that, until now, I’d planned to continue. I like Pennsylvania, and I like Chris’s cooking, and—mostly—I like their children. Love ‘em a lot, actually. Look at how lovable they are, even when you can’t see their faces!
This year, I went to their house the Monday before Christmas. As always, my dog Dizzy came with me. Over the past few years, Dizzy and I have established quite a nice Pennsylvania routine. We play with children, beg for meals, poop with the door open, and sleep in the third floor bedroom.
Up until the early hours of Wednesday morning, that routine ran very well for us. But it was in those early Wednesday hours that something changed. I woke up to the sound of flapping wings.
First, a brief aside: Except for college, I’ve lived in the same old house in rural Maine my entire life. The house is real old—maybe over 200 years old—and has a barn attached. I’ve seen plenty of mice and snakes and squirrels running round indoors in my day. But what I’ve never seen is no flappin ass bats flappin round indoors.
Back to last Wednesday. I was sleeping in the third floor bedroom, with Dizzy at my side, when the sound of flapping ass wings woke me up.
“Huh,” I thought. “Sounds like a winged creature.”
I opened my eyes, and not at all to my surprise, there was a winged creature ping ponging between the walls, flapping around like a fool.
Things moved real fast after I confirmed the winged creature’s existence. I shouted “WHAT DA FUCK,” grabbed the covers, and threw them over my head. My phone was on the bedside table. I snuck my hand out and snatched it real quick to dial Chris. It was 2:47 a.m., but by the miracle of crying babies, she was awake.
Allie: I got the blankets over my head, there’s a bird or a bat or something in here. Save me.
Chris: What? You’re stuck in the blankets?
Allie: NAY, I SAY THERE’S A BIRD OR A BAT OR SOMETHING.
Chris: Oh. We’ll be right up.
Chris seemed very calm, and I suppose she should have been. Since moving into their house, Chris and Matt have seen a couple of bats, including one in their bed. Knowing that, I guessed the winged creature was almost certainly a bat rather than a bird.
Knowing also that bats sometimes carry rabies, I thought I should try to get Dizzy under the covers too. The dude wouldn’t move. When he’s asleep, he could not care less about what’s going on in the waking world. A squirrel could scamper up our bed and use Dizzy’s teeth to crack open an acorn and homie still wouldn’t rustle.
“Suit yourself,” I told him. “Shit you vaccinated anyway, li’l puppy dog.”
After a minute, Chris and Matt arrived outside my bedroom door. It had been shut the whole time, which is why I went under the covers in the first place—I didn’t want to open the door to run out and have it flapping around loose in the house.
Matt came in and turned on the light while I stayed securely under the covers.
“It is a bat,” said Matt. “I’ll catch it in my hat. Maybe I’ll give it to the cat.”
Nah just playing, he didn’t say all that. He did truly say it was a bat, though. Then he caught it with a butterfly net, which they keep in the crib for situations bazackly like the one we were in.
Once I knew it was caught, I took the covers off my head.
“Good job. That was hella spooky.”
Matt suggested I leave the bedroom while he got the bat out of there. I didn’t have any pants on and told Matt as much (what kind of sicko sleeps in pants?). He didn’t mind, so I scooted out.
He put the bat in a box and taped it up. Apparently if a bat’s in a room with a sleeping person, you got to get it tested for rabies. I was fairly certain I didn’t get bit, pooped upon, or drooled upon, but I guess it’s possible they can bite you without you even knowing. Plus, seeing as I’m a hypochondriac, I would have never slept again if it hadn’t gotten tested.
The results came back negative, which means the bat didn’t have rabies and neither do I, even if the adorable little monster had nibbled on me (which I’m sure it didn’t).
In the end, it was only another scare at the hands of Chris and Matt.
P.S. R.I.P. Sweet Bat. I’m really sorry humans build beautiful, warm houses and then kill lovely creatures like you when you seek shelter within them.