Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race...From The Giaour [Unquenched, unquenchable] by Lord Byron
So – y’all know weird stuff happens to me. I have come to accept this. I even take responsibility for about 75% of the stuff that happens to me. I bring it on myself with my weird hobbies and critters and own doing. But…that other 25% of weird stuff that happens to me? I mean, I just can’t make this stuff up.
You may have seen where I was bitten by a bat today. I want to go on record that this encounter was 100% not my fault. I was a total victim here.
We’ve previously had bats in the house. Usually, they’ve slipped into the attic somehow and then make their way into our living room and fly around until swatted down with the mop and released unharmed. It happens. We live in the woods.
But today? Today was not an open intrusion. Today’s bat was sly. Calculated. Stealth.
It’s been a busy few days around here. Between the chicken massacre late last week, me being gone all day Saturday visiting a friend and trying to get caught up to start another work week…there is lots going on.
This am, I have just a few minutes to myself before have to get clothes on, a few minutes in between laundry needing to finish washing then going to the dryer, a few moments of guilty pleasure internet surfing. The AC clicks on right as I am walking back to my computer, so I swing through the spare bathroom and grab my bathrobe off the towel hook.
Lately, I am obsessed with seeing ALL the house plans on the internet. So, I use my downtime to look at a new house plans site and saving my favorites. I sit there for about 5 minutes, happily clicking away and hear the dryer stop. Just 5 more minutes snuggled in my bathrobe, I think…then, I’ll get that laundry.
Anyone that’s ever had long hair knows that it plays tricks on you. There have been several times I was convinced something was crawling on me only to find a hair tickling my arm or sticking into my ear and driving me crazy. As I click my mouse, I feel something move across my shoulder. But, knowing my hair’s tendency to bunch up and pull, I just figure half of my ponytail is under my robe collar and the other half out. I keep clicking websites, engrossed in kitchen layouts and pantry ideas.
Again. Something moves in my shoulder area and at this point, I am annoyed. I hate when my hair pulls me around. As I click through some really cute cottage house plans, I haphazardly reach up with my left hand to untuck my hair so it won’t bug me.
You know how you know something is not what you think it is almost instantly and sort of react without having to think? Yeah, that happened. As I reach to fish my hair out of my collar, I feel a wriggling sensation that tells me 100% this is not my ponytail causing my irritation. As my hand lands on warm, writhing, living flesh, instantly my mind says, “MOUSE!”. Which both confuses me and startles me. I don’t have any live rodents currently in the house to even escape. Why is there a MOUSE in my bathrobe?
An instant later, I feel jaws pierce and instincts kick in again. Before I know it, I draw back my hand and shake it like a cat with a piece of tape stuck to it’s paw. I see a brown body sail across my desk, bounce off my laptop screen and land on the laptop keyboard.
At this moment, I say four words. Four words I am not very proud of.
The first word: “$&#^”!
The first explicative describes my shock at fishing a living, biting creature out of my bathrobe. It also verbally expresses the slight pain and the somewhat surprise at the river of blood flowing from my finger.
The last three words: “%#* ^&%^ *@”!
The next three words capture the essence of me realizing that it was not a mouse, but rather a bat that I had fished out of my bathrobe AND the realizing that, this incident is going to entail more than just a bandaid.
An angry, teeth-gnashing, shaking bat stares at me from my keyboard. It is apparently not happy that I tried to unknowingly snuggle with it.
I am pretty good with bare handing wild animals. I prefer to handle bats while wearing gloves, but I figure if it bites me again, what’s that going to matter? I grab it up in a handy paper towel and toss it in a critter keeper I had sitting on the table.
At this point, I am torn. I am supposed to go somewhere this afternoon. It’s raining. I HATE going to the dr. It’s Sunday, so the ER is the only place really open…but, Rabies. A quick google search reveals that it’s probably best to head to see a doctor today.
I walk outside to where my husband is chain sawing and announce, “We need to talk.” I show him my bleeding finger and describe in detail the dastardly attack. The first thing my husband says? “So, which wood is the best to make stakes from? Do you have any silver I can borrow?” The jokes just go down hill from there…
We load up – all three of us: me, the hubby and the bat – and try to see if the urgent care just down the road can see me. They of course, take one look at me, one look at the bat and send us to the ER in Gainesville. They DO insist that I be checkout out first. The hubby asks the nurse what the first signs are of me “turning” are so he'll know what to look for. I ask the nurse if she wants the bat to hand over the animal control. She promptly replies, “No Thank You.”. We load back up and head to the ER.
I feel kind of weird strolling into the hospital with a bat in a box. (Placing a critter keeper on the counter), “Hi. I was recently bitten by a bat. I brought the bat. ”
I’ve been very fortunate in my life. Today was only the second time I have had to make an ER visit for myself. The first time was for an allergic reaction that closed my throat and I couldn’t breath. Today, was for a bat bite. I’ve heard horror stories about the ER taking hours to see patients. Both instances for me, I was taken back immediately. I recommend if you want quick service at the ER, get really bad hives that make your choke…or bring a wild animal to the ER with you.
We (the hubby, me and the bat) are whisked to some inner chamber of the hospital labyrinth almost immediately and I am hooked up to a few different machines to get my vitals. My blood pressure registers high and my nurse asks if I have a history of high blood pressure. I reply, “No. But I got bit by a bat just a little while ago and that was a little unsettling.” She, wide eyed, nods in agreement.
The bat is placed on a cart beside my bed, in full view of the hospital staff. Each new nurse that passes through is so intrigued by the bat, they stop and tap on the critter keeper. “It’s strangely cute!” “Is it alive?” “Poor little guy!”
Yes, the bat is getting sympathy from the ER nurses.
They finally decide the Department of Natural Resources is the best group to call and within 20 minutes, a DNR officer is taking my information and my bat. My bat will be euthanized, beheaded and his brain will be tested for rabies. I will be notified in 2-3 days if I am at risk and need shots.
As a preventative, I am given a tetanus booster and prescribed 10 days of antibiotics. My husband asks if there are any prescriptions available to “prevent vampirism”. He assures the nurse I haven’t “fed” yet.
We are being released and I get all my wires and cuffs unhooked. I stop to put my sweater back on, since it’s raining out. I wait until the hubby is looking at me and I open up my sweater, like bat wings, and flap. The nurse behind him bursts out laughing.
Back at home, we are trying to salvage what’s left of the day. I ask my husband what he wants for dinner. His reply? “Buffalo Wild Bat Wings”.
I laugh and say, “ I would cook for you tonight but….I HAVE RABIES.”
We’ll see later this week if that proves true or not.