Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Birds, Bats & Cats

It was still dark at a few minutes to 5:00 this morning when I encountered a bat. It greeted me in a swirling chaotic dance as I was stretching in the driveway before the morning's run. At first I thought it might be a drunk bird, but after a second or so, when it moved in the right direction, I caught the distinct shape of its wings. Neat. It fluttered around for another minute, then moved on out of site.

I charted a new course this morning, doing a quick loop through the neighbourhood, then back Upper James, across Brantdale, and up West 5th. I thought it was time for a slight change of scenery. You know, spot different cats prowling around thinking they're cool and undetected, see and hear different patterns of birds. About 5 minutes into my run I spotted three crazy swirling and fluttering bats not far from where I'd seen the first, and moments after, the first sounds of morning birds (they seem to only start making noise once the sun becomes prominent in the sky)

The bat reminded me of this time when Steve and I were living at 35 Craig Street in Ottawa. (Ah, the good old Levack Shack, as we dubbed it -- for several years, Steve and myself, Taki and Zaki, all from the small Northern Ontario of Levack, called this residence home) Our roommate Zaki was about to hit the sack early one night (likely during exams), when he comes back into the living room and in a monotone voice says: "Very funny, guys." There was a bat in his room, and he'd thought that it was us who put it there. (Sure, we liked playing jokes on each other, and Zaki, being particularly high strung, was often an easy target - but this bat got in on his own) For some reason now, whenever Steve and I get to drinking late into the night, we reminisce about the bat incident and the fun antics in trying to get it out of our house (imagine three grown men with pieces of cardboard, empty laundry baskets and towels, trying to encourage a bat to find its way to the entrance. Imagine the Ned Flanders-type screams we let out when, after it flew into the basement and we thought we'd accidentally killed it by throwing the laundry basket over it, it let out a high pitched shriek and came right at us. We almost killed each other in a large mass of arms and legs, scrambling over each other on the stairs, screaming and laughing and completely out of breath.

As my buddy Mathew would say: Good times!

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