I’m not really much of an animal lover. I don’t hate them. I just don’t like them. I don’t trust them. It can probably be traced back to when my childhood friend’s cat pooped on me while I was jumping on the trampoline with it. I guess the cat had some trust issues as well. As a side note, my friend told me to tell my mom the poop on my shirt was chocolate, so that’s what I did. Sorry, Mom.
I’ve talked before about my issues with kids pretending to be animals. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves (ha, pet peeve? Get it?). And I can’t help but feel scornful whenever those animal abuse commercials come on TV (cue Sarah McLachlan song). Of course, I don’t approve of the abuse of animals, but I resent that animal abuse sometimes engenders more outrage than the abuse of humans. But I’ll save that rant for another post.
I’m cool with zoos. The animals can’t touch me; I’m not obligated to touch them. I don’t mind watching animals. But I guess that’s how the whole ordeal with the bat began. I was watching my cat eat.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon the summer before 5th grade. I’d just scooped out some dry cat food for the cat and was just standing there watching him crunch away at it.
I don’t think I saw it coming. All of the sudden something big and black landed on my upper arm. I didn’t think much about what it was or what it was doing on my arm. I was too busy frantically trying to flick the clinging creature off my arm. Yes. I had to flick it off. Once I had successfully removed it from my person, I knew right away what the stunned animal at my feet was. It was a bat.
I think there’s only one way to describe what happened next. You know that part on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Jeanie runs down the hall and up the stairs screaming after finding Mr. Rooney in her house? Yep. It was kind of like that. I ran inside terrified, screaming, and crying.
Somehow, amidst the sobbing and gasping for air I related to my (very alarmed) mom what had happened. One of the first things she asked me was, “Did it bite you?”
It hadn’t occurred to me yet that said bat was capable of biting me. Everything had been such a terrifying blur that I honestly had no idea if I had been bitten. I did a quick inspection of the landing site. It was a little red, but that was probably because I’d been subconsciously trying to rub away the clingy bat feeling ever since I flicked it off. Other than that, it looked and felt normal. “I don’t think so,” I said, answering my mom’s question. “It mostly just scared me.”
We returned to the scene of the incident and found the bat slowly army-crawling across the deck. We decided there was probably something wrong with it.
The cat came over to investigate as well. Before we could stop him, the cat snatched up the bat in his mouth and made off with it. I can’t be sure, but I think the cat ate the bat. And that was the end of that.