I began my bat catching apprenticeship right out of college. I lived with my cousin Corinn, and we had a little bit of a bat problem. In the six months I lived with her, we successfully caught six bats. Our first one was caught about four months into our roommate-ship. You do the math.
MY FEARLESS LEADER
Corinn was my fearless leader, and I was her trusty sidekick. After our very first catch-and-release, we came up with a plan. The plan was executed in nearly every hunting endeavor (except the time we found the bat in the washing machine), and it worked beautifully. I’ll let you in on our secret. You need four things to successfully catch a bat: a broom, an empty garbage can, a broken-down cereal box and courage. When the broom has successfully knocked the flying rodent to the ground, gather your courage and cover it with the empty garbage can. From there, slide the cereal box underneath the can to trap the little monster, then release it into the wild.
Did you know that it’s frowned upon to kill bats? Keep this in mind when living your own personal nightmare.
BAT-CATCHING EXPERIENCE AT WORK
Years after my first adventures in bat catching, I was holding my little baby and rocking her in our room when I heard the all-too familiar sound of something scurrying up the wall. It was fall and very reminiscent of the first sounds I heard the fall I lived with my cousin—a kind of a scratching sound. I turned over my left shoulder and saw something brown scurry up the wall by the rocking chair. My daughter was close to falling asleep, but I had to quietly get up and tell my husband Casey that there was a bat in our bedroom. I decided Cecelia’s bedtime had to wait; it was time to execute the ever-trusted bat-catching process.
Casey closed the bedroom door so we could contain the beast. We collected the broom, a garbage can and a broken-down cereal box (courage was being worked on at this point). We had our hoods on and we stood at the bedroom door. This time, I stood with Casey and not Corinn. I was the one with ample experience in this situation, and Casey was now my sidekick. It was time. We gave each other a nod and slowly opened the door. We went to turn on the light, but, of course, we had the ceiling fan on and the light off. The remote for the light/fan was somewhere by our bed on the other side of the room. We had to reassess.
FIFTH THING TO SUCCESSFULLY CATCH A BAT
We closed the door and sought out a flashlight. We needed to get in the room and find that remote so we could flip the lights on. We wouldn’t be able to appropriately capture our furry friend without light. When were back at the door, we gave each other another nod and quietly and carefully opened the bedroom door. With the help of the flashlight, we found the remote control and turned on the lights. We didn’t see a bat. I told him where it had been, and upon closer examination, we found the bat. Well, not a bat. What we found was a Hershey bar wrapper static-clung to the wall. Ripped right down the middle, it was split perfectly to give the illusion of two wings, and as I rocked the recliner it climbed up the wall making a little scratching noise the whole way.
“Why on earth would there be a Hershey bar wrapper in our bedroom?” I asked Casey.
“Because I ate it in here,” he replied.
Katie Lenn is a mother, wife, graduate student and has a full-time position. She is roughly navigating through her transition to adulthood and finds it very therapeutic to write about it.