At one point during the past week my husband actually said the following sentence out loud in complete seriousness:
I know the police report from the accident is in this big pile of papers but there’s just so much paperwork from all the rabies stuff!
See, last Tuesday evening my sister Brynna flew in from Minnesota to visit. She was anticipating a nice restful time of seeing the sights in DC and hanging out with the three of us (me, Ryan, and Eli). So – as one does – I decided on Tuesday afternoon I should put the dishes that were in the sink into the dishwasher so that it at least looked like we always did that. Ha. LIES. I finished up the left side of the sink and started in on the right side. I cleared off the top layer of dishes and underneath were some bigger bowls that I decided to just hand wash. After I closed up the dishwasher I took one last look in the sink to make sure I got all the silverware and everything. And there was something dark and brown and soft in there. You know, like when you leave apple peels or something in the sink for ages and keep piling stuff on top so then when you finally get back down to it it’s all gushy and rotten? You don’t? Well, I mean, I’ve heard that happens sometimes to SOME people. Anyhow, this wasn’t that. And I’m glad I realized this BEFORE I grabbed it to shove it down the garbage disposal.
Because it was a bat.
A brown bat, just lying there in my kitchen sink. In broad daylight.
I took a step back to regain my wits and to prevent myself from screaming out loud. Internally there was nothing I could do – it was like one of those red flashy lights on a submarine was going off in my brain except instead of “Dive! Dive!” it was “BAT! BAT! TINY CLAWS! TINY TEETH! FLAPPING WINGS! RABIES! HYDROPHOBIA! OLD YELLER!” Because a sluggish bat not hanging on anything and just sitting there in the middle of the day = rabid bat that had been in our place for God only knows how long.
I told Eli to go to another room and I was very calm about it. Until he said, “Why? What’s happening?” I said, “There’s just a bat in our sink and I need to catch it.” He (naturally) replied, “Okay, I will help! Let me see it!” And then the slow-motion NOOOOOOOO came out of my mouth followed by me saying, “How you can help is to just go sit on the couch.” I grabbed a large Tupperware, moved over to the sink, s.l.o.w.l.y. moved the bowls the bat was next to out of the way, and put the Tupperware over it.
Naturally it started scrabbling around underneath that Tupperware. So I decided I needed something good and heavy to put on top. Thank you Charles Dickens for writing Bleak House. With a large book sitting on a Tupperware, sitting over a bat, in my sink, I called animal control. Then I texted my sister to say I might be late picking her up because BAT IN MY SINK.
The animal control officer showed up with all of his high-tech bat-catching equipment – a metal coffee can – and did the Indiana Jones swap-out with my Tupperware. I told the officer the whole story (including that we had heard the bat scritching in the walls the night before); he told me they’d test it for rabies and let us know the results.
Whew. Done and done.
Ryan came home from work and I left to go to Dulles to grab Brynna. Since it was rush hour, Brynna and I stopped in Reston to watch Inside Out while we waited for traffic to die down. (It’s SO GOOD, by the way; definitely go see it.) About ten minutes into the movie, my purse started vibrating. And vibrating. And vibrating. I snuck my phone out just enough to see that it was Ryan calling, and texting just one line: “There is another bat.”
Here I’ll let Eli tell what happened at our place just before I received that text.
We were eating dinner and then we listened to some music and then there was a wasp so Daddy moved the curtain and there was A. BAT. Daddy screamed and told us to run away so we ran away into my room? And we were scared because it was just flying all over the place. Then animal control came and caughtitinanet sofast and then we could come out!
This time the animal control officer brought a net to catch it before transferring it to the coffee can. And she did all this WITH ELI’S TOYS ALL OVER THE FLOOR. The woman should drop the animal control thing and become a professional dancer, is what I’m saying. Then she went through our place looking for possible entry points, which she found under the sink where there was a gaping hole in the wall that Eli could have easily crawled through, so a bat would have no issues whatsoever.
Needless to say, I missed the rest of Inside Out because I was on the phone with Ryan and our landlord and Ryan again and the condo office and our landlord again and… But the animal control officer said she didn’t think we needed to stay in a hotel: that sometimes a couple of bats get in and that’s just the end of it. So Brynna and I drove home, laughing about how crazy all this was and being grateful it was all done.