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Bat Habits

by Izzy Halloran

[originally published 12/6/19]


It’s 12:30 am on a Thursday morning in J-house. A resident comes running down the hall, panicked, sweaty, that specific look in their eyes one only gets after they’ve seen something they shouldn’t have. They manage to spit out a few words, such as-- “bats!” , “there’s one in my room!”, and “help me!”. I grab my hammer out of my craft drawer and we head across the hall. After standing in the doorway and begging Mr. Bat to leave for a good ten minutes, he soars out. We hurry back to our respective rooms and slam our heavy doors. But there still stands one pressing problem...I have to pee. Perhaps it’s the excitement of the night, or my new-found commitment to drinking more water, but there is no way of dancing this one off. Ila tells me to be brave, but she will not be accompanying me on the treacherous hike to the bathroom. She tells me she loves me and sends me off, shutting the door behind me. And so I go. All is well until halfway through my pee, when I see the shadow under the bathroom door; it’s a bat! I pee quicker than I ever have before, peek out of the stall quietly, then make a run for it. I don’t even bother washing my hands.

It seems that the worst is over until one fateful night, weeks later. Natasha Colman, a wonderful J-house resident, is getting a good night’s sleep in her well-decorated third floor room. The first bat arrives promptly around 1:30 am, interrupting Natasha’s impeccable sleep schedule.

“I woke up to a freaking bat”, Natasha recalled to me later, shuddering at the memory. “And when you wake up to a bat, you may have been bitten in your sleep. So now I have to get my rabies shots...because they think I could have rabies.” So every Monday for the next month, Natasha took the journey to Mercy Hospital to receive her weekly rabies shot. She kept her instagram followers up-to-date on her rabid status, changing her bio each time she received another shot to indicate she was growing less rabid. “You never think it’s gonna happen to you until you wake up one day and you might have contracted rabies…” Natasha tells me. Thankfully, she has now completed all four of her rabies vaccines, and has received a letter of apology from the school for the bat outbreak.

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