On Monday evening, I was watching television and something fast, small and black flew by me several times. I thought what is it? A bird? A shadow? Or … a bat.
It was late so I decided to go to bed. In the morning, there was no sign of anything. So I forgot about it. The following night, I was in the kitchen. I heard something and went into the corridor to see what it was. Something small, fast and black flew by. It was not a bird or a shadow. I was now clearly sharing the house with a bat, who only came out at night.
Now if you have read an earlier blog, you will know I have an unreasonable fear of bats. And I was alone. For a week. With a bat. In a phone call with my husband, I told him about the bat. He just laughed. It must have been the distance. It gives you a different perspective I guess. That and my husband is not afraid of bats.
Fast forward two days later. I had gone to bed but I had taken the precaution of closing my bedroom door. I was engaging in bat avoidance. At one o’clock in the morning, I woke up to sounds of shuffling and squeaking outside the door. I reluctantly got up, turned on the bedside light and slowly opened the door. The bat swooshed in and flew in frantic circles around the room. I started hopping up and down, screaming and waving my arms. The two of us were clearly freaking out.
Then the bat flew to the top of the dresser, landed and stopped moving. I could sense the tiny creature breathing. Suddenly I realized the bat was just as scared as I was. If I kept hopping up and down, there would be no way I could solve the Bat Problem. So I took a breath and started thinking. Our bedroom has a door to a balcony. Why did I not think of this before? I cautiously opened the balcony door and went downstairs to the kitchen to get rubber gloves and a broom. I would use the broom to fight back in case the bat attacked me (especially my hair). The rubber gloves were to protect me from catching a terrible disease if I had to touch the bat.
I resolutely returned to the bedroom ready to confront the bat. The bat was gone. I stood still listening. I knew the bat was no longer in the house. I could feel it. The bat had escaped through the balcony door and flown away into the night.
I have met bats before but usually there was someone with me to deal with the bat. My job was just to hop up and down screaming. This time, there was no one to do bat management but me.
So what did I learn? Unless there is someone actually coming toward us with an axe, most problems are much smaller than we think. It is the fear that paralyses us (or in my case causes lunatic screaming and hopping). If we can stop, breathe and start thinking, most problems will either go away by themselves. Or others will solve them for us. Or they can be broken down into small steps and, if not always solved, at least managed.
As for me and the bat, I lived and so did he (or she?). A win-win, as they say.