Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The B. A.T. Invasion

The early evening air gathered thick outside, the kind of air welcomed with open arms by electric companies as people hide behind closed doors and windows and happily crank up their air conditioning units to escape the summer scorcher.

While my husband Bob and my then six-year old daughter Melissa, now 14, quietly watched cartoons, I crept up to my room in our modest town home,  turned on the ceiling fan and placed my head gently on the pillow, hoping to close my eyes for a few minutes before Melissa's night time bath routine brought me out of my slumber.

In the distance I heard a low rumble, alerting me to the inevitable approach of the kind of thunderstorm that strikes at the heart of humidity.  

I had barely had time to drift into REM sleep when I heard Bob call my name, caution in his voice.  Bleary eyed, I sat on the edge of the bed, trying to comprehend his cryptic message.

"Lisa, there's a B. A. T. in the house," he spelled with forced calm, hoping Melissa wouldn't catch on.

As I walked into the hallway and watched a scene of horror unfold before my eyes, I quickly deduced that Bob had not been talking about bats of the baseball kind.  

A black creature with a wing span of 4,000 feet flew up the stairs, his goal to attack and turn me into a vampire! With my cat following close behind (although I've never been quite sure what the fearless feline would have done if he had caught the darn thing) Mr. B. A. T. flew into Melissa's bedroom.  Thinking fast, I raced to close her bedroom door and trap him in there.  Her sleeping quarters not being an issue at the moment, I naturally assumed she'd just bunk in my bed for the rest of her life.

Unfortunately, Mr. B. A. T. had other plans.  No sooner did he enter Melissa's room did he fly back out again, straight for my face!  So, in an effort to stay calm so as not to upset my daughter, I did what all mature, grown up, rational adults do in moments like this.  


In my effort to escape my impending death, I turned, tripped over my cat, nearly fell down the stairs (breaking my toe in the process) and ran into the living room where Bob still tried to convince Melissa that our friendly neighborhood B. A. T., still in hot pursuit, was, in reality, just a bird.

Bob opened the sliding glass doors that led to our small back yard and hurried Melissa and me outside.  Still screaming, I ran into our yard, then around to the front of the house where our next door neighbors Angelica, Louie, and their two young sons Chris and Brandon had come outside to find out why the normally quiet Weinstein family had seemingly lost their minds.

As the thunder rumbled a bit louder in the distance, and the westward sky darkened, we caught our breath and, together with our neighbors, tried to develop a B. A. T. coping  strategy more effective than "spending the rest of our lives in a hotel."

Just then, another neighbor pulled up in his car, a young single guy named Don who seemed to think we should just go into our house and trap the B. A. T. in a paper shopping bag, bring the bag outside and release the creature back into the wild, if you can call a New Jersey suburb "the wild".

Hmmmm, should we  choose Holiday Inn, Hilton, Sheraton, or Marriott?

Fortunately, Don offered to play the "catch the bat in the bag"  game for us.  

Angelica volunteered a paper shopping bag, handed it to Don, and wished him luck as he entered the B. A. T. lair of doom.  A few minutes passed with no word from Don.  The thunder grew a bit louder and flashes of lightening were now visible on the horizon.     

Still, in the still air we waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally, Don emerged with "bat in bag" and, as Melissa, Chris, Brandon, Bob, Louie, Angelica, and I all let out blood curdling streams loud enough to rival the approaching thunderstorm, Don released the B. A. T. from the bag of captivity.

End of story.  

Or so we thought.

Fast forward to "B.A.T. Invasion - Day Two".  

The next night, with Melissa bathed and tucked snugly into bed, I noticed the cat staring intently at our air conditioning vent.  Knowing full well that cat ears hear things that human ears can't decipher, I became concerned.  


Bob and I watched in horror as claws appeared gripped onto the inside of our living room air vent, looking for an escape route.  

Not wanting to wake Melissa, I kept my screams to a minimum and instead, frantically dialed the local animal control office who informed us that bats eat pesky insects like mosquitoes and are therefore a protected species.  Their hands were tied.  The B. A. T. would have to stay.  Quite frankly, I didn't care if bats ate mosquitoes, grass hoppers, locusts, dogs, cats, pigs, bears, or killer sharks.   I WANTED THE CREATURE OUT OF MY HOUSE!

Willing to risk any punishment animal control forced upon me, I took a can of RAID flying insect killer and sprayed it into every single air vent.  Then, drawing on super human strength that only appears when confronted with creatures of the dark, I positioned heavy furniture so that it covered nearly every air vent.  Just let that B. A. T. even try to attempt escape!  Not on my watch.

The next day, we had a guy from a pest control service check out our home.  He quickly determined that Mr. B. A. T. had either died, escaped or evaporated, either way, no sign of the winged wonder existed in our air events, or anywhere else in the house, for that matter.

We had survived our terrifying encounter unscathed. But sometimes, during that brief time of day when daylight transforms into the grey skies of dusk, I see bats flying about in the distance and I wonder, do they know I probably killed their cousin?


"Like" my blog's Facebook page by clicking the link at the top right side of this blog!

Comments and feedback are encouraged and welcome. For some reason, many people have told me they have left a comment, but it has not appeared. To leave a comment, click on the arrow next to "comment as", then choose "anonymous". If you would like to include your name, please leave your name in the body of your post. Once you have posted your comment and chosen anonymous, then hit publish. Check the page the make sure your comment appeared. You can also "Like" my blog's Facebook page and comment there - like button is on the upper right side of this page.


  1. Oh, that reminds me of a story I haven't told yet... thanks for the memories! (And sorry about yours.)

  2. That is extremely creepy, my heart is still racing!! I can't believe you didn't move to a hotel!! Glad it is a funny memory now! Great post, I really enjoyed it!!

  3. I had that happen once also and we employed a broom and a sheet as our capture plan. After hours of trying to get it out unsuccessfully, it disappeared suddenly. We never found the silly thing and I slept with the covers over my head that night. The next morning, we found it in the kitchen by a cooler on the floor and it was removed with a towel without incident. But eeks and aaaahhhhh, I'm with you, sister - creepy!

  4. Haha! I love this story. I love that it was thundering outside, to add to the ambiance. :) I love that there was a second bat, and you saw it's claws wrapped around the air vent bars. That description gave me goose pimples! I also love that animal control expected you to live with the bat. You can tell that guy isn't married. :)

    You're my awesome blogger referral this F-R-R-R-iday, Lisa! :)

  5. Hey Lisa, I wanted to tell you that I added a Top Commenters widget to my blog and you are number 6. When people click on your name, it takes them to your blog, so I hope your visits to Everyday Underwear pay off by getting you some traffic! I sure appreciate your friendship and following here in the blogosphere :0)

  6. A BAT IN THE HOUSE? Oh my God. Sounds HORRIBLE. I'm with you on the whole I-don't-care-what-they-eat-get-them-outta-here! bit.

  7. Hi Lisa! Your crazy bat story sounds like my awful rat story. Check it out here,

    But seriously, this happened to my sister-in-law ages ago when she discovered a bat flying around in her house. She ended up beating it to a pulp, using a broom and getting the living room carpet all disgusting with it. Then she had to replace the carpet. It was quite traumatic for her, but I can't imagine having to go through that or what you went through. Sounds awful--but funny, too. ;)

    So glad you stopped by my blog today!

  8. Hi Lisa! Your bat story gave me the eeber jeebers! Oh my goodness! I don't know what I would do if faced with similar circumstances. When I was little, the older kids used to say that bats got tangled in your hair and given I had the worst mop of curls, I was terrified! I'm glad your home is now bat-free! :)

  9. Lisa.....this happened o us over a year ago. I can't even say the word because I still have anxiety about it. Our house alarm went off at 3 a.m.........and so the story began.....

  10. Lisa, just a bit (not bat) of info here: Releasing a bat that was already in your home might seem like the humane thing to do, remember that if that bat made contact with any member of your family, it presents a risk of rabies conveyance. While only approx. 3 percent of all bats test positive for rabies and your specimen likely was fine, even the slightest chance of a rabies exposure should be taken seriously. If you're 100 percent sure the bat did not touch anyone in your household, then letting it go is the humane thing to do. But if the bat was in your house overnight and had access to any bedrooms, it should be captured and delivered to the health dept for rabies testing.
    I love bats and encourage them around our home by building bat houses. They are remarkable mammals and actually beautiful to watch.

  11. Hi Lisa ! I remember the bat. It was kind scary. Especially when you are not sure if there are more bats inside anywhere around the house. We had a very brave neighbor. He went inside and caught the bat as if was nothing. At our place next to you we had squirrels up in the attic. The mamma squirrel had babies up there. It was so noise at night. We called the exterminator and they caught the squirrels and closed our attic so no more animals could get in there. And set them free of course.