Monday, February 13, 2006


Not unsurprisingly, I cannot concentrate on work. Plus, it's my lunch hour. So, I thought I would share the story of "My Chiroptophobia" or, "why I am out-of-my-mind-terrified of bats".

(It may surprise you that fear of bats is chiroptophobia, while, batophobia is, unexpectedly, fear of being close to high buildings. And, it is probably very fortunate for me that I do not have batophobia, since I work in a very high building that is surrounded by several other very high buildings, and thus would not be able to go to work if I had such a fear. But I digress.)

I am not sure that my fear of bats really qualifies as a phobia, because I think of phobias as an irrational fear of something, and frankly I don't think that the fear of a MOUSE with WINGS is irrational. Call me crazy...

So, my fear of bats started in the summer of 1999.

I was pregnant with Gabe. (Duh. Who else would I have been pregnant with??) We were living in a beautiful Tudor style brick house complete with original hardwood floors, etc. - very charming. We had been living there for about 2 years and had not yet encountered "the bat problem."

Anyway, we were out late, visiting my sister and brother-in-law on the other side of town. When we came home, I noticed that the door opening onto our back porch was wide open. I wasn't upset about it, as the porch was screened in and the screen door was locked, and I assumed that we had left it open earlier in the day, so that cats could get on the porch to get some air. HOWEVER, there were MANY large holes in the screen of the porch - not big enough for a raccoon or anything, but, big enough, say, for a large mouse to crawl through. It didn't occur to me to think about that at the time, and I shooed our two cats back inside from the porch and we went to bed.

At 2:30 in the morning we were awoken by a sound. I really don't have any words to describe this noise. At first I thought our alarm system was going off. My husband and I were fumbling around, trying to find a light switch, and I could hear one of our cats scuffling frantically around on the floor with something. I began to think the cat had caught a mouse, and while that disturbed me, I wasn't freaked out. My husband found the light switch and flipped it on. The "screaking" noise got louder and I could see our big orange tomcat was holding something down with his left front paw and using his right front paw to beat the ever-living-crap out of whatever it was he had a hold of. My husband jumped off the bed to intervene, and tried to pull the cat away, at which point he exclaimed "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!" The cat took a swipe at the creature, which knocked the intruder into our bedroom closet, and my husband slammed the door of the closet shut. Then he ran into the hallway, grabbed a towel, rolled it up, and stuffed it under the closet door. During this time I had been screaming, 'what is it? what is it?' over and over like a hysterical idiot. While he stuffed the towel under the closet door, my husband said, 'it's a bat. holy shit, it's a bat.'

We barricaded the closet door with another towel, and then we left our bedroom and barricaded THAT door with yet another towel, and we went to sleep in the guest room. Well, we TRIED to sleep in the guest room. Neither of us actually slept much.

In the morning I called a variety of people, included the animal control department of the city. I was informed that animal control would not come to get any bats - only 'dangerous' animals. I told the city clerk that I felt like whatever was in my closet was pretty damn terrifying and didn't that qualify as "dangerous". She said "no". (I cannot imagine what animal control would come and fetch out of my house, if they wouldn't come get a bat. It's not like we have an alligator or mountain lion problem in northwest Ohio.)

I ended up calling a company called, 'Critter Gitters' - and I paid a man, armed with a several sticks and a mirror, $75 to open my bedroom closet. He came out 5 minutes later with the bat.

HE WAS COMPLETELY CALM. He said, "he was hiding in your purple dress."

(I am ashamed to admit that I never wore that purple dress again, and ultimately had to give it to GoodWill, because every time I tried to put it on, I remembered that the bat had been hiding in it, and it gave me the screaming heebie-jeebies.)

I have to get to a hearing in Municipal Court, so, I will have to finish this later.

Law Mommy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i WOULD classify your fear of bats as a phobia, and the animal control agency lady was correct to tell you they are not dangerous. they are beneficial animals, and trust me, that bat (after being manhandled by a cat) was much more scared than you :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 4:02:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter
Get a Free Hit Counter